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San Antonio vs. Charlotte Final Score: Spurs win in Wemby’s unspectacular debut, 76-68

It wasn’t a pretty game for Wemby or either team, but the Spurs remain undefeated in Summer League.

2023 NBA Summer League - Charlotte Hornets v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The big night finally came, with top overall pick Victor Wembanyama making his NBA debut in front of a sold-out, eager Summer League crowd. While he looked jittery early and had an off-shooting night, the defense is there, and he showed the NBA world why he will be an all-around player.

Of course, behind all the Wemby hype was an actual game against the Charlotte Hornets and second overall pick Brandon Miller. It wasn’t a pretty or particularly fun game to watch, but while the Hornets generally generated more highlights, the Spurs had a Spurs-like game, quietly and comfortably leading by double digits almost the entire time, never letting any mini-runs by the Hornets get in their head, responding to every potential momentum-swinging play, and cruising their way to a 76-68 victory.


  • As previously mentioned, Wemby was a little jittery early and missed his first three shots before finally making a little five-foot turnaround for the and-one for his first Summer League points. He didn’t score again until an and-one three with 2:50 left in the game, with some bad misses in between, but despite the poor shooting night, he made his presence known on the defensive end all night with 5 blocks, 8 rebounds, and generally being a menace to anyone who tried to challenge him. He did get his “welcome to the NBA” in the second half after getting posterized on a Kai Jones alley-oop dunk, but he showed his maturity and maintained straight demeanor all night.
  • Another thing that was on display for Wemby was his playmaking ability. He ended the game with 3 assists but would have had several more if his teammates were shooting better, especially early in the game. He always made the right read and didn’t try too hard to force shots most of the night. He also brought the ball up the court a few times and generated plenty of oohh’s and aahh’s with some nifty dribble moves. It was far from a flawless night for Wemby, and he seemed to let pressure to do something from the impatient crowd get to his head as the game wore on, but he showed why he’ll be an all-around player.
  • It took Julian Champagnie a little while to get going, but once again he was the player of the game for the Summer Spurs. Once his three-point shot got going, it helped give the Spurs the separation they maintained the rest of the game. He finished the night with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists, including the play of the night (for the Spurs) with a posterizing and-one dunk. If he keeps this up into the preseason, he’s going to make it impossible for Pop to keep him out of the main rotation.
  • The other three Spurs from last season all had solid, if unspectacular games. Barlow had the hot hand early and finished the night with 12 points and 9 rebounds on 5-9 shooting. He looks NBA ready and like the G League is beneath him at this point, so it will be interesting to see if the Spurs can make room for him on the main roster. Meanwhile, Malaki Branham and Blake Wesley combined for 30 points on an inefficient 12-33 shooting, although Branham did hit 4-7 threes. Wesley continues to be a wildcard, with some bizzare errors along with flashes of potential, but when the game slows down for him, he’s hard to guard and is showing improvement at finishing at the rim: something he was horrid at his rookie season.
  • Both Sidy Cissoko and Charles Bediako are somewhat in the same boat: they both look like elite defenders but have a long way to go on offense. Cissoko is nearly impossible to get around on defense but remains 0-fer from the field in summer league, badly missing on his three attempts. Bediako only got five minutes in the first half but snatched four rebounds and had a nice block at the rim.
  • Finally, it’s not a traditional PtR final score without me complaining about the refs, and I will say they were a large part of this game lacking any flow, especially in the second half. It was a tightly called contest (except when Wemby tried to post up, then all contact was allowed), with the two teams combining for 46 free throws and there being a whistle seemingly on every other possession. It’s summer league, refs. Let some of the ticky-tack stuff go and let the guys play.

The Summer Spurs will be back in action on Sunday against the Portland Trail Blazers (unfortunately likely without Scoot Henderson, who left tonight’s game with a shoulder injury). Tip-off will be at 7:00 PM CT on ESPN 2.