Drafted in first position by the Spurs, Victor Wembanyama lives his dream during his first steps in the NBA. The 19-year-old prodigy looks back on his welcome to San Antonio but also his adaptation and his goals.
“I feel like I belong here“, ured Victor Wembanyama on Saturday during his first press conference in the United States: at the Spurs, who drafted him in first position, in the city of San Antonio, which welcomed him like a rock star, but also in the NBA including “the game” him “most suitable“.
The media whirlwind
“I had a lot of strong emotions, but also a lot, a lot to do. Right after the draft, I had two hours allotted to the media, then I celebrated the event with my family. The emotion therefore had time to come down, but the last 72 hours were very tiring. Afterwards, I really enjoy the present moment. And everywhere I went, I was warmly welcomed. I did not expect so many people when I arrived.
His dinner with Duncan, Robinson and Ginobili
“Friday was one of the most rewarding evenings of my life, I learned a lot of things in two hours. It’s super reuring to know that these guys still live in San Antonio, they still gravitate around the club, they have maintained relationships with the franchise. For me, it’s a comfort to know that there are legends, not just from the club but from the NBA, who are there to help me and who won’t let me make the same mistakes twice. For a rookie it’s a huge advantage.
Victor Wembanyama in demonstration for his first day at Spurs. Troy Taormina/REUTERS
Adapting to the NBA
“A very important factor for me is how seriously the players are taken here. We take care of them so well… everything is done for their progress, their development. My game will have to adapt a little, yes, but the one played in the NBA is what suits me the most.
His personal goals
“I want to make an impression, through performances and the smooth running of things. I’m waiting to play my first matches, to spend more time in the NBA, before setting myself clear objectives, it’s a job that will be done day after day.
San Antonio for life?
“The first hours here made me want to live here for a long time. However, loyalty is something that is very important to me. So, I don’t know what the future will hold, but my idea is to play here for a long time. I feel like I belong here. Since I arrived, I have only seen grateful people and suddenly it is easy to acclimatize when you are already appreciated.