Victor Wembanyama power five in Los Angeles

“This kid is special!! "

Victor Wembanyama power five in Los Angeles

“This kid is special!! ". Complete with an alien emoticon, the reaction on X (ex-Twitter) from star LeBron James to Victor Wembanyama says a lot about Victor Wembanyama's performance. If the San Antonio Spurs lost again, Friday February 23, on the floor of the Los Angeles Lakers (118-123), the French phenomenon, once again, delivered a spectacular performance against LeBron James and his team.

In front of an audience hesitating between whistles and applause for him – treatment reserved for stars – Victor Wembanyama multiplied his brilliant actions. And two weeks before the Oscars ceremony, the French giant (2.24 m) made the right costume. With 27 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 steals and 5 blocks, Victor Wembanyama signed a rare performance, becoming the youngest player to succeed in a “quintuple five” match, with more than five units in all five statistical areas. One day after failing by one pass to achieve this mark, the Frenchman weighed in on the match with all his might, but without managing to prevent his team's 46th defeat of the season (for 11 victories).

In the prestigious Los Angeles venue, “Wemby” unleashed the “highlights” machine, these spectacular actions capable of flooding social networks and delighting his many fans. Decisive pass after a feint, dizzying alley-oop, or even a counter on All Star Anthony Davis, one of the best pivots in the league, the Frenchman took care of everything. And his stints on the bench have, as often, coincided with large gaps suffered by his partners. Faced with the experience of the Lakers, victorious in the brand new “NBA Cup” in December, the Spurs ended up giving up.

“In defeats, these stats are secondary.”

True to form, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich paid little attention to the statistical success of his colt. “I don’t really care. I don't care about the numbers as long as he plays well and intelligently,” said Tony Parker's former coach, who has been engaged for several years in a project to rebuild the Texan franchise, after more than two decades at the top of the NBA. Now responsible for shaping and polishing nuggets – first and foremost the French phenomenon – rather than winning matches this season, the experienced Texan technician nevertheless recognized Wembanyama's progress: “We are skipping steps with him. He is getting better month by month in many aspects. »

The first player since Michael Jordan to string together two games with five interceptions and five blocks, Victor Wembanyama didn't care about these statistics. “I wonder if he did it during victories,” asked the Habs. When [these stats are] in defeats, for me, it’s secondary. I hope that in the future I can look back and see these performances again. But for today, I cannot be satisfied. »

At 20, the Frenchman continues his apprenticeship in the NBA. A few days after the All Star weekend, where he polarized attention, despite not having been selected for the “star game” bringing together the best players of the big North American basketball league, the Texan interior continues to conquer audiences and adversaries. “There is no ceiling for Wembanyama,” reacted star LeBron James after the meeting. Before qualifying: “But make no mistake, he is not the first rookie to have an impact. » A statistical and spectacular impact, failing, for the moment, to influence the results of his team.