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Victor Wembanyama on adjusting to the NBA: “The hardest battle … is mental”

The rookie shared his insight on his NBA season thus far. 

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at San Antonio Spurs Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday night, Victor Wembanyama completed his 44th game of the season, just two shy of his total from the previous season in France. In a noteworthy overseas transition, the rookie participated in 46 games within 265 days, contrasting with this season’s 101 days. Essentially, he shifted from playing a basketball game every 5.7 days in Europe to every 2.3 days in North America, now facing off against some of the best players in the world. On Monday’s media availability, local journalists checked in on the rookie’s physical well-being.

Considering his remarkable height and frame, coupled with a cautious minutes restriction for a significant portion of the season, many might assume that the physical demands of the NBA have taken a toll on him. However, that’s not the case. The rookie confidently stated that his body is holding up well, thanks to his comprehensive recovery regimen. This includes ice baths, stretching, normatec therapy, and a soothing massage to cap it off.

Despite the physical challenges, Victor’s primary struggle in the NBA lies on the mental side. During the interview, he consistently reiterated the same sentiment in both English and French, emphasizing that every night is a battle against opponents strategically planning to defeat him. The mental challenge involves staying focused on countering their tactics while also competing for the collective success of his teammates.

But the mental demands extend beyond the court. Wembanyama shared insights into the difficulty of consistently executing the coach’s game plan. The expectations are high, and while players give their best in return, it proves to be mentally draining.

Overall, the rookie anticipates growing more comfortable in this high-pressure environment. Nevertheless, he acknowledges that the mental aspect will persist as an ongoing challenge. Wembanyama commits to continually working on this facet of his game, recognizing it as an essential component of his continuous growth throughout the season.

This compilation of Wemby’s standout plays from January is impressive, capturing what could easily be considered a career’s worth of highlights for many players. It’s challenging to single out a favorite, but the 7’4” Shammgod move stands out.

Is Victor a possible contender for the Defensive Player of the Year award? This tweet certainly makes a compelling case.

Exciting news from the NBA – they’re introducing LED interactive courts for the upcoming All-Star Weekend. Anticipating watching Wemby showcase his skills on these innovative courts!

Contemplating starting a Wemby book club? It could feature many of Brandon Sanderson’s novels, but currently, Wemby is reading “The Witcher” by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.