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Victor Wembanyama continues Spurs tradition of boxing with Jesse James Leija

Wemby continues to immerse himself in all things Spurs.

NBA: Summer League-Charlotte Hornets at San Antonio Spurs Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

From being a top overall pick and potential savior of the Spurs franchise, to a team-first and unselfish attitude, rookie Victor Wembanyama and legend Tim Duncan have a lot in common. Now, yet another common denominator between the two has come to light: training with boxing legend Jesse James Leija.

While Leija has worked out with many more Spurs over the years (he lists Manu Ginobili as the best boxer of the bunch and Matt Bonner the hardest puncher — go figure), it’s always encouraging seeing top tier players who willing to put in the time to get better. Boxing in particular is great for Wemby since he needs to strengthen his core, and Leija was not only impressed with how quickly he picked it up, but also what a genuinely great guy he is. (Again, this sounds like nearly all the Spurs legends.)

Perhaps the biggest challenge this offseason has been managing our own expectations. On one hand, it’s hard not dream of the leaps the team experienced after acquiring the top two previous times and hoping it can happen again, but when looking at the schedule, the age of the team, and other factors that should cause a little pause, it’s easy to fall back to other end of the spectrum and get too concerned.

However, what isn’t hard is seeing what a fun group of players this year’s team will be and how much comradery there is, both on and off the court, and that is a huge step towards building a contending team. One of my daily habits has become checking the Spurs’ official Twitter X account (I’ll never get used to that) for pictures from the practice facility, and it warms the heart every time. The 2023-24 season can’t get here soon enough.

(Side note: Sidy Cissoko is beefed and looks like he could challenge Bonner for the title of hardest puncher on the team — in boxing, of course.)