One of the most impressive plays from the San Antonio Spurs win over the Houston Rockets on Friday by Victor Wembanyama didn’t make the broadcast and was only available on a few of the highlight videos I found on YouTube. So I feel compelled to provide it for your enjoyment and edification.
But I’d have probably have written this post even if the play WAS widely available, because it’s so impressive, and so indicative of Wemby’s talent as a wing. To wit: have a look at this play, and think “Now, who does that move remind me of?”
I’ve asked a number of people for their reactions and I’ve gotten some responses from Kobe Bryant to Manu Ginobili (with this play accompanying the response) and I thought immediately of Steph Curry. Regardless of the applicability or fairness of any of these comparisons, the point is that they’re all wings. So far, Wembanyama’s offensive game, for all of his size and length, is overwhelmingly that of a floor-stretching, open-court, transition-attacking, mid-range nightmare.
Of course, defense is a different story, and to illustrate that point, I give you the following video that I found very detailed and informative. It has a ton of fun tidbits, as well as the memorable line, “no one is safe from Wemby.”
One of the cool things I noticed from the video is this instant from Jabari Smith Jr. after Wemby’s second straight block. And I love it because this is the way I’ve always played basketball — rejoicing is amazing plays, even if they’re at my expense. I mean, just look at the smile of Smith’s face. Sure, he’s wishing that he had been able to score, but he also knows how incredibly difficult it was to do what Victor just did, and he’s allowing himself to enjoy it even as he sprints back on defense.
And finally, there’s this moment of Wemby joy that starts off the video. I missed seeing this Friday night and it warms my heart to see the man so unrestrained in his rejoicing as he gets his first NBA victory.