Basketball: incredible baskets, scoring record and victory… The Wembanyama festival continues
And to think that not everything was perfect… A couple of missed free throws early in the match (2 out of 12 attempts in the end), a couple of poorly calibrated three-pointers… But luckily for Limoges and their future opponents, Victor Wembanyama did not succeed in everything , as assured by its captain Lahaou Konate “that he can advance in many sectors”. And that’s probably the most impressive. And the most diabolical. Because despite these small slags, the nugget of Metropolitans 92 was one of the main executioners of CSP Limoges (78-69) on Thursday in the 8th day of Betclic Élite. The success was achieved without Hugo Besson (sick) or Idrissa Ba (injured) in a full and packed sports palace. The Mets get their 6th win in a row and solidify their place at the top of the rankings.
At the age of 18 – he will turn 19 in exactly 2 months – Victor Wembanyama continues to make French basketball history with his size 55. Against Limoges, the giant (2.21 m, not taking into account the thickness of his soles) broke the career record with 33 units (previous score was 25). He added 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks. Or an “overall rating” (performance score calculated using statistics) of 41, which is very rare.
“I don’t remember such a player”
To find a trace of such a performance at this age, you have to blow the dust off the old magic books and archive books of French basketball. At age 18, Tony Parker scored 32 points on May 5, 2001 for Paris Basket Racing. At age 19, Antoine Rigaudo scored 30 points against Aswell on January 20, 1990. It already made it better to get a spot in the next NBA Draft in June. “He is not a normal young player, his Mets coach and Blues coach Vincent Collet breathes. He has the answer to all the problems asked of him. He is unpredictable and difficult to defend. He increases his palette in every game. I don’t remember a player like that. »
At the end of the victory, a mischievous childish smile lit up his chubby face. The smile of a child who has just realized that his opponent has played a very bad game. Against Limoges, Wemby multiplied world-class gestures that will further feed the social networks of the NBA app, which has followed him every match since last week. After a series of dribbles, like this successful basket, moves that are his secret and turns into himself to confuse the defender.
But Wembanyama is not just a finisher. He has a unique vision of the game from his height of 2.21m (not to mention the thickness of his heels) and distills spawn for his teammates, as this “volleyball player” Ibrahima Fall Faye (4th) passes. On a loose ball, he will look for the ball at the top of the backboard of the basketball before sending it to the basket.
An incredible one-legged three-pointer
But the hearts of the spectators and the entire Mets clubhouse stopped late in the first quarter when Wembanyama took a nasty fall on his left ankle as he attempted a comeback. The person concerned was obliged to return to the changing room with the physiotherapist. Time stopped. But minutes later, the club’s director of basketball operations, Alain Weisz, returned and gave Vincent Collet the thumbs up. More fear than harm.
On the ground, to cheers, the former Nanterre resident continued his festival, crushing work on both sides of the field. Collet says Wemba is “a big pivot who plays as a second defender”. He is the host of the game.Demiurge. After tying the scoring record at the sound of the 3rd act, he tops it on a three-pointer… with one leg. Just an hour after the match, the video of this shot has already been viewed 1.3 million times on Instagram… The public knows that they are witnessing a unique moment. Everything goes faster with him. The Limoges players have no choice but to make a mistake and send him to the free throw line to try to stop him.
“He is not a normal player,” said Lahaou Konate. What he suggests is unheard of. Fits every time. Victor is Victor. I see him every day in training, I work. I’m not surprised by what he’s doing, his development, but he’s bluffing me. As long as he continues to enjoy playing, he is unplayable. »
“He made several achievements that allowed Limoges to stay when we were playing less well,” continues Vincent Collet. This is his best game apart from the two in Las Vegas, but in the context of the French Championship… He is playing fair. He is aggressive but also careful in his choices. He does what is left after his talent. The icing on the cake is this one-footed 3-pointer that reminds me of (Luka) Doncic playing against us during the Euros. He is already taking responsibility. He is the leader of the team and will be one of the leaders in the French national team. »
Victor Vembanyama will have an opportunity to prove it soon. With the Championship on hold, the Blues will meet early next week for two qualifiers for the next World Cup. An international baptism of fire for Wemby.