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Spurs’ Victor Wembanyama won’t play in season finale Sunday



Spurs' Victor Wembanyama won't play in season finale Sunday

Victor Wembanyama’s rookie season with the San Antonio Spurs is over.

The Spurs mentioned that the 7-foot-4 French phenom won’t play in Sunday’s season finale in opposition to the Detroit Pistons, ending a yr that can virtually definitely see him take residence rookie of the yr honors.

His last numbers: 21.4 factors, 10.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and an NBA-best 3.6 blocked pictures per sport. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich prompt after Friday’s win over Denver that Wembanyama could be held out for the finale, and the group confirmed that call Saturday. The official purpose cited was proper ankle harm administration.

“What’s actually been attention-grabbing is if you watch him from the start of the yr to now could be how a lot better he is gotten,” Denver coach Michael Malone mentioned of Wembanyama earlier this month. “I imply, it is noticeable. He got here in as a extremely gifted participant, however if you watch him now … Pop’s executed a hell of a job constructing him up in a single season.”

Wembanyama — the No. 1 choose within the 2023 NBA draft — appeared in 71 video games with the Spurs, who enter the finale with a 21-60 file and tied getting into the season’s last day with Portland for the worst file within the Western Convention.

He had 34 factors, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, two blocks and 5 3-pointers in what was his final sport as a rookie, a 121-120 win over defending NBA champion Denver on Friday evening. The Spurs rallied from 23 factors all the way down to win the sport — their largest comeback win of the season, and Wembanyama gave the ball a celebratory spike as time expired.

“As a rising group, a younger group, it is large for us,” Wembanyama mentioned after the sport. “We’ll want these form of wins sooner or later. We’ll want any win. However big-time wins in opposition to large groups, first seeds, we’ll want these sooner or later.”

He turned simply the fourth participant, and first rookie, to complete a season with a minimum of 1,500 factors, 250 assists and 250 blocked pictures. The others: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it 5 occasions, Hakeem Olajuwon did it twice and former Spurs nice David Robinson did it twice. No person had executed it since 1993-94, when Olajuwon and Robinson each had such a season.

Wembanyama will not play once more for the Spurs till subsequent season, however followers will presumably see him play lengthy earlier than that. He is anticipated to be a part of the French roster for the Paris Olympics this summer time.

And he is mentioned many occasions that he feels the Spurs are on the proper path towards changing into a contender once more.

“We have got the potential to be nice,” Wembanyama mentioned. “The truth that we now have the prospect to reside this, with the followers, I can solely hope it is as unimaginable as it may be.”

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