World reacts as Victor Wembanyama rewrites history in 34-year madness: NBA 2024

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There was always hope that Victor Wembanyama would take the NBA by storm, but the No. 1 Draft pick has once again blown the sport away.

The 20-year-old Frenchman is 224cm tall with a wingspan estimated at 240cm.

But for the man who was the most convincing Slenderman we’ve ever seen at Halloween, the question was whether he would have the strength to match it in the NBA.

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Averaging 20.4 points and 10.1 assists in his rookie season, it’s safe to say he’s right at home in the league, but his performance in the San Antonio Spurs’ 122-99 win over the Toronto Raptors has shown just how terrifying a prospect he’ll continue to be as his career develops.

Wembanyama claimed his second career triple-double in the match, scoring 27 points and 14 rebounds as well as 10 blocks in a stunning performance that also included five assists and two steals.

Usually triple-doubles are scored by players with the points, rebounds and assists, but that he did it with blocks is the first time since Clint Capela had 13 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocks for Atlanta against Minnesota in January 2021 that someone both claimed a triple-double with blocks and that someone blocked 10 or more shots in a game.

Incredibly, just 26 players in NBA history have blocked more than 10 shots in a triple-double.

Hakeem Olajuwon has the most in history with 11, while Dikembe Mutombo had 10 and Spurs Hall of Famer David Robinson had nine.

For the next step up, Wembanyama is the fifth player behind Olajuwon (four times), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ralph Sampson and Robinson to have 25+ points, 10+ rebounds, 10+ blocks and 5+ assists in a game.

He’s also the fourth rookie to have achieved the feat, after Robinson (three-times in 1989/90), Sampson (1983/84) and Mark Eaton (1982/83), which makes him the first in nearly 34 years to achieve the feat.

“It’s great company to have a name in this group and even more because it’s in the Spurs family,” Wembanyama said of matching Robinson.

He also the first player in NBA history to claim more than 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks in less than 30 minutes of game-time.

He’s also the first opposing player to claim more than eight blocks in Toronto.

Fans were blown away by the feat as the Frenchman continues to exceed the already lofty expectations for his rookie season.

“We felt great today, had a great rhythm,” Wembanyama said.

“Started the game strong. I don’t know. I guess it’s just the NBA. We’ve got ups and downs in terms of shape. Today was an up day.”

Incredibly, the win was just the Spurs’ 11th of the season as they sit dead last in the Western Conference, snapping a seven-game losing streak.

The Frenchman warned his size and skill at swatting aside shots might prevent many double-digit blocks nights.

“It’s getting harder to block shots — I had to make an extra effort tonight — because less and less people go at me,” Wembanyama said. “Intimidation, I can see it happening.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said: “He did a little bit of everything. He is an all-round talented player.”

With AFP

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