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Victor Wembanyama makes French history

Kevin Durant praises the French rookie on historic night.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Victor Wembanyama breakout party was in full swing on Thursday night in Phoenix, with the rookie delivering a career-high 38 points on 15-26 shooting. His incredible performance solidified his place in the history books as the youngest French player to score 30+ points in an NBA game.

During an interaction with a French reporter, Victor shared insights into his success in the game. He recognizes that Coach Popovich’s priority is to win, emphasizing the importance of making sound decisions early in the game is crucial. Minimizing turnovers and contributing on both offensive and defensive fronts has made it easier for Coach Pop to keep Wembanyama on the court. In this particular game, Victor had a season-low two turnovers, something to keep an eye on moving forward.

Adding the historical significance of Thursday night, Victor’s performance—38 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks—establishes him as the third teenager to accomplish this feat. He achieved this milestone in just his fifth game, a staggering 75 games less than KD and 79 games less than LeBron James.

Speaking of his idol, Kevin Durant had words of praise for the rookie Frenchman. He swiftly dismissed direct comparisons and instead praised Wembanyama’s style, acknowledging him as a player carving his unique path. After facing him in back-to-back games, Durant realizes the problem Victor will pose for years to come.

Victor is not only a physical anomaly but also boasts an exceptional basketball IQ. On offence, he demonstrates an aptitude for timely and accurate passing, a skill that deserves further attention. Defensively, despite his imposing stature, Wembanyama isn’t chasing blocks. His approach involves patience, analysis, and using his length advantageously, repeatedly proving to be a defensive asset.

This is proof that Wemby possesses the skills of a point guard with a 7’5 body. It’s exceptional to witness such handling, particularly from a 19-year-old of his size. While Slenderman may have frightened the league on Halloween, the real concern should be the evolution of Wemby’s remarkable ball-handling abilities over the next five years.