If you’re hearing more French being spoken on the streets of downtown San Antonio this week, you’re not imagining things. It turns out that some of the coaches from the French National team, including Spurs alum Boris Diaw, are in town to observe rookie Victor Wembanyama. With the 2024 Paris Olympics just 183 days away, the coaching staff is expected to engage in discussions with Victor and the Spurs to better understand their plans moving forward.
️ Victor Wembanyama sur la présence de Vincent Collet, Ruddy Nelhomme et Boris Diaw aux Spurs en ce moment : « C’est une bonne initiative de leur part. Le but, c’est de discuter de l’organisation [pour les JO], de prendre contact. » pic.twitter.com/Z1QdCvPjME— Théo Quintard (@TheoQuintard) January 25, 2024
But coaches aren’t the only ones making the journey to Texas this week. On Tuesday, 27 devoted French Spurs fans made the trek from their homeland. This annual expedition was meticulously organized by Spurs Nation France, under the leadership of President Jean-Patrick Nourricier. The “Mission Victor(y)” week-long trip encompasses airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to four basketball games, and an hour-and-a-half basketball session on the hardwood of the Frost Bank Center. To cap off this extraordinary experience, these fans will meet some of their favorite basketball talents, including Victor, Diaw, and Rudy Gobert.
Annonce SNF— Spurs Nation France (SNF) (@SASpursFr) September 23, 2023
Ouverture des inscriptions pour la saison 23/24
Et on vous annonce notre “Mission Victor(y)” qui se tiendra du 23 au 31/01
⚠️ Pour valider ce séjour, il nous faut impérativement 15 participants avant le samedi 30/09
Les détails ici https://t.co/kqXfxPClyV pic.twitter.com/3f2vgVYqk3
For these basketball enthusiasts, it truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The timing of their trip was no coincidence; these fans strategically planned to attend four games against formidable opponents. The first matchup took place on Wednesday night against rival Chet Holmgren. Looking ahead, the next three games will feature showdowns between Scoot Henderson and Wemby, a visit from Rudy Gobert on Saturday night, and a face-off with ex-Mets teammate and close friend Bilal Coulibaly on Monday night.
Fortunately for these fans, their arrival aligns with the Spurs’ decision to lift Victor’s minutes restriction, possibly allowing him to participate in back-to-back games. This fantastic news ensures plenty of opportunity for fans to witness Wembanyama in action on the court, promising unforgettable moments and a trip of a lifetime.
You and I share the same sentiment, Kevin; this upcoming decade promises to be quite entertaining.
I’m gonna cherish the rivalry. Can’t wait until someday when the Spurs are good and face the Thunder in the playoffs. https://t.co/bT7uBNbuyQ— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) January 25, 2024
After the game, reporters questioned Victor about his desire for more one-on-one matchups with Chet. His candid response revealed that he rarely experiences one-on-one situations as he’s consistently double or triple-teamed, as evident in this screen grab.
This is how teams guard one of the best rookies in NBA history pic.twitter.com/Ej00B5XBHF— Spurs Culture (@SpursCulture) January 25, 2024
In case you missed the spectacle, here are some fantastic clips showcasing Wemby’s brilliance from Wednesday night.
Over the past three months, it’s been widely known that Victor is an enthusiastic reader. The rookie turns to this pastime to divert his attention from the high-pressure life of being an NBA star. With that in mind, teammate Tre Jones’ recent comment about Wemby’s reading habits adds a touch of humor, and this tweet perfectly captures the essence of it all. It’s all in good fun and games.