The spectacle of Victor Wembanyama's first official NBA game provided lots to take in and dissect even though foul trouble kept him on the Spurs' bench for more than half of it
SAN ANTONIO — It hasn't taken Victor Wembanyama very long to deduce how it works on American soil. If he doesn't immediately dazzle, disappointment disperses very quickly.
The trick — one of Wembanyama's countless gifts — is the ability to metaphorically rebound (and fast) when he fails to mesmerize. Ce n'est pas toujours possible to dribble the ball through an unsuspecting Reggie Bullock's legs at midcourt or rotate out to the 3-point line to discombobulate a legendary marksman like Klay Thompson with reach and speed we've never really seen before, but the teenager understands all this already. Better yet? He seems to react quite well when he doesn’t instantly make magic.
Speedy study that he is, Wembanyama marked his official NBA debut Wednesday night by rebounding from an underwhelming three quarters in the same game — without waiting for another night to do it like he had to after an absolute dud of a summer league debut in Las Vegas in July. Wembanyama did enough damage in this fourth quarter with a late nine-point flurry, after racking up five frustrating fouls, to remind everyone why there has been such a far-reaching fuss over the 19-year-old from the Paris suburb of Le Chesnay.