A visit by ministers, a “frustration” and a decisive dunk, Victor Vembanyama’s eventful evening

Marcel-Cerdan room (Levallois-Perret),

And three seconds before the end of the match, the Marcel-Jerdan hall in Levallois-Perret (Hauts-de-Seine) exploded. Of course, it is gratifying to celebrate the victory of the locals over one of their rivals for the title, Asvel (84-83). But most of all relief. Yes, because after a very complicated match, Victor Vembanyama finally came to do what everyone expected of him with this terrible shot that put the Mets ahead: dominate the opponent, attack the circle, get the crowd on their feet … In short, almost only to ignite a room that came for it.

“I really wanted to offer my son, who is an NBA fan, a seat to a Mets game before Victor left for the U.S. Gregory (54) walked across the hall for an hour and a half. the start of the meeting. Although we don’t live far, this is the first time we come here. Jonathan Givony comes from far and wide. From New York, to be exact. Accompanied by several colleagues, the ESPN journalist spent the week with the Mets to report on the Wembanyama phenomenon.

I love this guy, the American journalist tells us playfully. We got to spend time with him and he is a really nice person. We’re lucky he’s in the Draft, doing things no one else does. Some question whether there are too many expectations around him, but he creates them. We’ll be patient, but there’s no reason he can’t be one of the best players in the NBA. I’d be very surprised if he didn’t win MVP within a year. »

“That match, at Bercy…”

Before the project scheduled for the end of June and the discovery of rooms such as the TD Garden in Boston or Madison Square Garden in New York, Victor Vembanyama still has to “turn off” the season with the Boulogne-Levallois, 2800-seat room. A (very) loud speaker and his 30 or so supporters, including 20 children under 10 years old. A friendly atmosphere, even Metropolitans 92 coach Vincent Collet would have preferred other conditions to welcome this poster against Aswell: “We were in full armour. We had to reject 6,000 applications. That match, at Bercy…”

Amélie Oudéa-Castera was one of the privileged few to be able to attend the meeting, even though Noel le Graet was involved in the galleries for his work. The sports minister even took a trip to the locker room to congratulate the Mets after the win. “I introduced him, especially to the Americans, so they know he’s the Minister of Sports,” Collett said with a laugh. It would be amazing if he came for us, I think he was there for Victor. He told the players that he enjoyed the show and that while he wasn’t an expert, he had a blast. »

The waters did not take the water

Tremonte Waters was especially solemn. The American guard of the Mets was the main scorer of his team with 28 points and 7 assists. He allowed his team to cash in, trailing by 8 points. It was he who started the game-winning move from Victor Wembanyama after the third offensive rebound.

Even if the stat sheet might show otherwise (15 points, 9 rebounds, 5 blocks). Just two points, a free throw, a third quarter nightmare, penalty fouls, zero three-pointers… It was clearly a rough evening for Wemby.

I liked how he kept calm, commented Vincent Collet. I found him to be patient and more helpful to the team than in recent games. He has self-confidence and adaptability. He tracked well and that shows him that when he’s close to the circle, that’s when he can dominate. He also needs to improve on his lack of clear positioning on the racket. »

“He didn’t stop at what he could do”

It must be said that Asvel prepared his departure quite well. Although often lacking in size, the Villeurbanne defence, led by Yves Pons, specifically sets VW in motion, and Charles Kahudi handled the Wembanyama case perfectly. And not many people in the stands expected that. “I was a little disappointed with the match, where Victor was well defended by Pons, I regretted the embarrassing loss to Clement (22) from Paris. It was a little bit for him that we came to watch this match, so even though he scored the winning goal, he was a little disappointed with what he did. Afterwards, it was still nice to see him and the goal is still a team win. »

Seeing Vembanyama’s beaming face at the end of the match, not being stingy while signing autographs and taking pictures during the “Applause Tour” (yes, lap of honor, but it sounds better in English) was the main thing. there. “He was very happy in the dressing room and did not stop at what he could do,” Vincent Collet was delighted. And I liked it. “Even if we agree, the head coach of the French national team would prefer to put thirty on his jewels. No doubt it will happen very soon. Sunday in Dijon?

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