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Despite Joel Embiid’s historic night, Victor Wembanyama held his own

The rookie received notable praise from the 76ers following their initial game.

San Antonio Spurs v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

On Monday night, the NBA world witnessed a historic achievement as Joel Embiid scored an incredible 70 points. Unfortunately, the San Antonio Spurs and Victor Wembanyama found themselves on the receiving end of this remarkable performance, but for Victor, it was an inspiring moment.

After the game, the rookie expressed his frustration about the loss but quickly praised Joel’s outstanding performance. He had pride in the NBA returning to being a “big man’s game,” which is accurate considering that the last five MVPs were all 6’11” or taller. On the flip side, Philadelphia 76ers’ head coach, Nick Nurse, commended Wembanyama’s performance, stating that it was the first time Embiid had to shoot over someone this season.

Despite dropping Embiid 70 points on the Spurs, only 16 of 70 points were against Wembanyama, indicating that the rookie held his own against him.

The praises continued from the center himself, with Joel stating on numerous occasions that Wembanyama has “everything.” He went on to say that when he develops more and “his body catches on, he’ll be a lot of problems for a lot of guys in the league.”

The compliments didn’t end there, with this quote:

While hinting at Wembanyama breaking Wilt Chamberlain’s record might be a bit of a stretch, the fact that it crossed Embiid’s mind says a lot. This year has been a consistent theme, with opponents giving the Frenchman an incredible amount of praise following their first encounter. It’s encouraging to see where this all leads—Victor is on a special trajectory.


A friendly reminder that Wembanyama, towering at an impressive 7’4”, is often referred to as an “alien.” During warmups, the seven-footer Embiid couldn’t help but have a comical reaction as he sized up the rookie.

This moment cuts deep, illustrated by Blake Wesley, who shares my height at 6’3”, struggling to even reach his arm around Wemby. It serves as a stark reminder of the Frenchman’s incredible height.

The new H-E-B commercial featuring Wembanyama and his teammates showed how close this group is. The behind-the-scenes footage further confirms the camaraderie within the team.

Certainly, Kyle, the rookie’s impressive 33-point performance, shooting 52.8% from the field and 40% from deep, was spectacular. I can’t help but wonder if Victor’s recent play is enough to convince Kyle Mann to move the Frenchman into the top spot on The Ringer’s Rookie Rankings.

One of my favorite moments from last night’s game involves the rookie casually dribbling the ball up the court, confidently shooting a pull-up three over the seven-footer, Joel Embiid. Plays like these showcase the current confidence in Wemby’s game.