After a roaring month of January, Victor Wembanyama has made the Rookie of the Year conversation heated once again. In the first month of 2023, Wembanyama averaged 24 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game. The NBA recognized his dominance by awarding him the January Western Conference Rookie of the Month Award.
San Antonio Spurs forward-center Victor Wembanyama and Charlotte Hornets forward Brandon Miller have been named the Kia NBA Western and Eastern Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in January. pic.twitter.com/DE4u19OgPS— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) February 1, 2024
After Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren won the award in November and December, Wembanyama secured his first win. Those two are neck-and-neck for the Rookie of the Year award, and the Rookie of the Month award is a good way to gauge who is playing the best lately.
Wembanyama becomes the first San Antonio Spurs player to win the award since Beno Udrih in December of 2004. Udrih averaged 6.6 points and 3 assists that month.
January has been one of Wembanyama’s best shooting months. The center is shooting 50.6% from the field, 32.4% from three and 83.1% from the free throw line. Wembanyama’s 60.5% true shooting in January is the best of his career so far. The rookie has gotten much better looks close to the basket, and is settling for jumpers far less.
Wembanyama will be eagerly awaiting the NBA’s announcement of the All Star reserves later on Thursday. There is a chance, however slim, that the rookie could get more accolades once the full All Star roster is public.
Tim Duncan and David Robinson own the most Rookie of the Month awards in NBA history, with 6 a piece. Wembanyama won’t be able to reach that number, but could pass the likes of Manu Ginobili with a second award this season.