The San Antonio Spurs entered their final pre-season game ready to test their mettle against a team with championship experience in Golden State. The Warriors are a team that one might think could be set up to cause problems for a rookie who's yet to officially play his first regular season NBA game, as both teams were aiming to sharpen themselves before the real thing. Bumps, bruises, mistakes, blunders. However you might want to describe it, you probably weren't expecting a ton.
As it turns out, Victor Wembanyama was not only ready but also decided to exceed expectations once again, finishing with 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 blocks in 21 minutes. Defending ball handlers in space, finishing around the rim through contact, bringing the ball up the floor, initiating the offense, and knocking down mid-range jumpers off the dribble, he awed an audience around the world. Together, everyone took notice.
You laugh at the length. You laugh at the idea that a human has the type of reach that looks like something straight out of a Space Jam scene (you can guess which one). He's also not without some of that nasty Pop tends to talk about, as he allows the defender to fly right by him on the ensuing dunk attempt in transition with a little bit of stare-down. Oh, but he was only getting started.
An NBA player standing 7'4 and capable of defending a much smaller and quicker wing with ease who's able to block a shot, run down the floor, and knock down a three-ball in transition should not be a thing. Yet, here we are. It's worth mentioning he did most of this in the span of essentially 90 seconds en route to a personal 10-2 run.
Victor Wembanyama was not only effective. Not only did he look comfortable, but he was absolutely dominant for stretches of the game and you can expect more of that this season. So, now questions start to arise. What really is the ceiling for the 19-year-old Frenchman?
What can you truthfully expect this early in his career? The more you watch, the more the needle might move, and San Antonio is in for an incredible ride.