Welcome to the Victor Wembanyama Experience | Mahaz News 247 is OUT NOW!

We’ve seen all of the viral highlights from his abroad days, his Summer League video games, his preseason performances. We’ve examine him, watched his interviews, consumed numerous social media posts about him. Now, lastly, it’s time to observe rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama play NBA basketball.

To have a good time the second, we obtained San Antonio Spurs superfan Shea Serrano to elucidate what this second means: to him, to the Spurs fanbase, to the world. It’s time. 

Victor Wembanyama covers Mahaz News 247. Get your copy right here.

This cowl story will finally be about Victor Wembanyana, a 7-foot-4 exaggeration of a human and essentially the most thrilling and attractive new basketball prospect in 20 years. First, although, it’s going to be about Ralph.

Ralph is a safety guard on the constructing the place I workplace out of. He and I discuss, had been I to guess, for a median of about 45 seconds every day, virtually at all times within the mornings once I first arrive at work and solely ever about sports activities. 

The method our interactions usually go is: I arrive to the constructing round 8 a.m. I kind an entry code right into a keypad on the entrance door. I wait half a second to listen to a tiny clicking sound that lets me know that the door, giant and metallic and in any other case impenetrable, is momentarily unlocked. I pull the door open. I stroll into the constructing. I look to my proper. And that’s the place I see Ralph, who’s stationed at a desk some twenty or so ft away. I say “Ralphieeeeeeeee,” and I at all times stretch the ultimate “E” out lengthy like that in hopes that it makes me seem extra charming and attention-grabbing than I really am. He says, “What’s up, Shea” again to me, however he says it in a standard method as a result of he doesn’t need to faux to be charming and attention-grabbing as a result of he really is charming and attention-grabbing. 

I stroll over to him, we contact fists, after which I touch upon one thing sports-related, to which he responds with one thing sports-related. Then there’s another conversational volley (both a follow-up to the primary sports activities factor, or the introduction of a brand new sports activities factor that’s barely much less essential than the primary), after which that’s it. I smile and chortle and he smiles and laughs after which I stroll away, each of us realizing we very probably won’t see or discuss to the opposite individual once more till the subsequent morning, at which level we are going to reenact the complete scene once more with solely barely totally different dialogue. We have executed this every work day for practically three years now. It’s the perfect relationship I’ve ever had with somebody who carries handcuffs.

When the Spurs received the NBA Draft Lottery this previous May (and with it, the possibility to draft Victor Wembanyama later that summer time), I texted Ralph in celebration. We had by no means texted with one another earlier than that second (the truth is, I needed to textual content a separate individual within the constructing to even get Ralph’s cellphone quantity) and even spoken with each other anyplace on the earth apart from at his desk on a weekday morning. But I felt compelled to succeed in out to him that night. 

I felt compelled to increase the circumstances and parameters of our relationship, even when I didn’t notice that that’s what I used to be doing on the time. 

Victor Wembanyama bends and reshapes all the pieces.

Basketball issues, clearly.

But different issues, too, it appears. 


It’s at all times been bizarre to observe a human who’s 7-foot-3 or taller dribble a basketball, nevertheless it’s by no means been bizarre the way in which Victor Wembanyama makes it bizarre. And what I imply is:

Picture, say, for instance, Hasheem Thabeet (7-foot-3) dribbling the ball up the court docket. Or image, say, for one more instance, Boban Marjanovic (7-foot-4) dribbling the ball up the court docket. Or image, say, for a 3rd instance, Chuck Nevitt (7-foot-5) dribbling the ball up the court docket. Or image, say, for a last instance, Tacko Fall (7-foot-6) dribbling the ball up the court docket. Those are all very bizarre eventualities and conditions and circumstances, each in abstraction and in follow. The arms, the legs, the elbows, the knees, the ball, the bouncing, the strolling—it’s simply all a bizarre mixture collectively. With regard to conventional basketball aesthetics, nothing is the place it’s alleged to be, or shifting the way in which it’s supposed to maneuver. Somebody that tall bringing the ball up the court docket is one thing that, should you turned in your TV and occurred to see it throughout a recreation, you’ll say to your self some model of, “Okay. Well, clearly something has gone wrong with this offensive possession. This couldn’t possibly have been the first option.”     

But that’s not what you say while you see Victor Wembanyama bringing the ball up the court docket. What you say while you see Victor Wembanyama bringing the ball up the court docket is a few model of, “Okay. Well. Fuck. We’re all dead.”

Because it’s easy, the way in which he dribbles.

And fluid.

And coordinated.

And stunning.

And devastating.

It’s like if God was taking a look at an image of a guard on somebody’s iPhone in heaven, touched the display screen together with his pinched-together index finger and thumb, expanded the picture to make it greater, after which was like, “Boom. There you go. That’s a person now.” 

Victor Wembanyama dribbles a basketball utterly usually. 

That’s why it’s bizarre in a method that it’s by no means been bizarre earlier than. 


The San Antonio Spurs performed the Miami Heat on October 13, 2023. It was the primary house recreation of the preseason for the Spurs, and so I suppose that was somewhat bit why it was essential, but in addition Victor Wembanyama was taking part in in it, and in order that’s primarily why it was essential. 

And I wish to inform you about one particular play from that evening. 


With somewhat below 40 seconds to go within the second quarter, Wembanyama dribbled the ball up the court docket. There was no rush. And there was no urgency. There was only a very tall individual dribbling a basketball calmly and confidently and usually, which, once more, was totally bizarre. 

His defender, a 6-foot-10 League veteran named Thomas Bryant, waited for him in a defensive place just a few ft past the three-point line.

As Wembanyama crossed the half court docket line, Tre Jones (level guard for the Spurs) hustled over and angled to set a display screen on Bryant. Wembanyama, spying the motion, sped up barely as Jones approached, hoping to drive Bryant into making some sort of defensive mistake.

Bryant didn’t, although. He did what you’re alleged to do when a smaller participant heads over to set a display screen on a much bigger participant out on the perimeter: you prepare for the smaller participant to slide the display screen on the final second in order to create a brand new second motion to doubtlessly exploit a instantly out of place protection. 

And that’s precisely what occurred.  

Bryant’s instincts had been 100% right.

And it made 0 % of a distinction.

Jones slipped the display screen and slid over to the precise bend space of the three-point line. Wemanyama handed him the ball. And Bryant sat again within the area ready for Jones to decide. And that’s when all the pieces turned to muck for him, and for the Heat, and (doubtlessly) (most likely) for the NBA. 

Before Jones had even absolutely gathered the ball, Wembanyama, nonetheless out previous the three-point line, pointed to the sky. The gesture, whereas utterly ludicrous in its implication, was unattainable to misread. Despite (a) nonetheless being 22 or so ft from the rim, and regardless of (b) having a defender to his instant left, and regardless of (c) Bryant nonetheless being straight concerned within the play, and regardless of (d) the opposite three Miami Heat defenders additionally being within the normal space, Wemanyama wished Jones to throw him an alley-oop.

Jones, instantly an viewers member on stage with a magician throughout the reveal of an enormous trick, determined he wished to see what would occur if he did what Wembanyama was asking him to do, and so he did what Wembanyama was asking him to do. 

Right because the ball touched his fingers, Jones tossed it up into the air. 

Victor dove into the paint, planted each sneakers 9 ft earlier than the rim, jumped as 4 of the 5 Heat defenders converged within the space, snatched the ball out of the ambiance with each fingers, cocked it again, then thunderdunked it earlier than anybody else might even soar. 

The area, rightly, erupted.

The web, rightly, erupted.

Reggie Miller, who was one of many commentators calling the sport that evening, rightly, erupted.

LOOK AT THIS!” he shouted, his voice fats with astonishment.

Or: “LOOK AT THIS!” he shouted, his voice fats with shock.

Or: “LOOK AT THIS!” he shouted, his voice fats with glee. 

Or: “LOOK AT THIS!” he shouted, as a result of that’s the one factor you may shout while you’re in the midst of watching one thing as ridiculous as a 7-foot-4 Frenchman fly into the paint towards a totally set protection, soar from a number of ft exterior of the restricted circle, after which dunk an alley-oop that he known as for from out previous the three-point line.

It was such a wild play. 

And an unbelievable play. 

And a preposterous play.

It was additionally, at greatest, solely the fourth most spectacular factor Victor Wembanyama would find yourself doing that evening. 


The San Antonio Spurs performed the Golden State Warriors on October 20, 2023. It was the ultimate recreation of the preseason for the Spurs, and so I suppose that was somewhat bit why it was essential, but in addition Victor Wembanyama was taking part in in it, and in order that’s primarily why it was essential. 

During the sport, Victor Wembanyama: (1) caught a go out previous the three-point line, crossed over his defender off the dribble, pump faked a jumper, then pulled up for actual as his defender floated harmlessly previous him; (2) grabbed a defensive rebound, introduced the ball up court docket, initiated the offense, then hit an and-one circus shot from behind the backboard whereas being pushed out of bounds (he additionally hit the accompanying free throw); (3) closed out from 10 ft away to dam a Klay Thompson three-pointer after which sprinted down court docket to obtain and dunk the post-block outlet go (my favourite a part of this play is that he caught the go, hit the brakes, waited for a trailing Klay Thompson to zoom by, then waited an additional second so {that a} second defender might catch up and get dunked on); and (4) defended a smaller participant on the perimeter, compelled him into the paint, blocked his shot, ran down court docket as a Jeremy Sochan gathered the errant ball, caught a go from Sochan, then pulled up for 3, splashing it in.  

It was 4 nice performs that will look nice on anyone’s full-game spotlight reel.

Victor Wembanyama did them throughout only a 90-second stretch in the midst of the primary quarter. 


There is not any precedent for Victor Wembanyama. 

There’s no single participant you may attain backwards in time for and connect him to, like how when LeBron James confirmed up and other people had been like, “He’s the next Michael Jordan,” or how when Clarence Weatherspoon confirmed up and other people had been like, “He’s the next Charles Barkley,” or how when when any white participant reveals up and persons are like, “He’s like that other white player.”

There is not any precedent for Victor Wembanyama. 

There are solely amalgamations.

“He’s like if you mixed Hakeem Olajuwon and Kevin Durant.” 

“He’s like if you mixed Kareem Abdul Jabbar with Tracy McGrady.”

“He’s like if you mixed a fighter jet and a jaguar.”

That’s the sort of shit you must say while you discuss him.

I don’t know how Victor Wembanyama’s profession goes to play out. 

I think there will probably be championship rings and MVP trophies and numerous different accolades. 

But that’s only a guess. 

What I do know, although, is that proper now, proper at this explicit matter, it sort of doesn’t matter. 

What issues is what he’s already given us, which is to say: 


And pleasure. 

Excitement for now and pleasure for the longer term.

Excitement in imagining what is likely to be; what he would possibly do; what he would possibly imply for basketball; what he would possibly imply for all the pieces.

Victor Wembanyama is right here. 

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Photos through Getty Images.

Source web site: www.slamonline.com

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