HomeBasketball TodayVictor Wembanyama of the Spurs shuts down Michael Jordan comparisons with his...

Victor Wembanyama of the Spurs shuts down Michael Jordan comparisons with his stellar stats

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Victor Wembanyama’s latest big game drew him a Michael Jordan comparison, but he quickly shot it down.

Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs faced off against LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. Afterward, it was the legend with whom many often compare to James who took center stage in one of the Spurs superstar’s answers.

With five steals and five blocks in the 123-118 loss to the Lakers, Wembanyamana became the first player since Michael Jordan to reach those numbers in back to back games after he reached both of those totals in their previous game against the Sacramento Kings.

Asked about matching arguably the greatest basketball to ever live, the generational prospect dismissed such comparisons.

“I wonder if he did it in wins, not losses,” Wembanyama said. “To me, it’s secondary. Hopefully in the future we can look back and think this is a good performance. As of today, I can’t be satisfied with a loss.”

Victor Wembanyama coming off a historic night for the Spurs

San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1) shoots against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Crypto.com Arena.
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The five blocks and five steals on Friday were only the tip of the iceberg for the top overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. With 27 points, ten rebounds, and eight assists, Wembanyama became the youngest player ever to record a “5×5” game, which is the term given to an outing in which a player gets at least five in every one of the aforementioned statistical categories.

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He played 30 minutes and 55 seconds against LA, marking the least amount of playing time for any of the 15 “5×5” games in NBA history. That he did it against James and Anthony Davis made it that much more impressive.

“Of course, challenging. One of the best duos in the league but still I think there’s a lot of teams we beat if we play this way.”

Victor Wembanyama embracing uptick in minutes

After averaging 28 minutes per game leading up to the All-Star break, Wembanyama has logged 31 minutes (when rounding up) in the two games since, including the 127-122 loss to the Kings.

Much of the minutes restriction came with ankle issues that occurred in December, but another layer comes with the natural grind that NBA rookies face over an 82-game schedule.

“How my body feels, it’s honestly pretty good for this time in the season. I was hit a couple times right here so it hurts but it’s OK,” Wembanyama said while gesturing to his chest toward the end of that comment.

The French sensation says his 7-foot-4 frame is ready for a heavier workload.

“I’m eager to play more and to have those minutes to help the team because sometimes it does feel like I’m on the bench for a long time. It’s a job we’ve got to do. With the team and the medical staff, we’ve got to figure this out.”

The 20-year-old marvel insists he’ll adjust to whatever comes next. His season averages of 20.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, and a league leading 3.3 blocks in just 28.5 minutes per game suggest he’s right.

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“My stamina is as good as the minutes I’m going to play. If tomorrow, I play 44 minutes I’ll be exhausted but if I play 44 minutes five games in a row, I’ll get used to it. It’s as simple as that.”

Hector Ledesma_headshot

About the Author

Hector Ledesma has been covering the Spurs in San Antonio since 2005, but he has been following them for even longer than that. An award-winning journalist born and raised in San Antonio, Hector has worked across all types of television and radio platforms. His work extends online and through social media (@HectorLedesmaTV) where he continues that work with ClutchPoints.

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