Victor Wembanyama scored in his NBA Summer League debut

Victor Wembanyama had his Summer League debut in front of a rare sold-out crowd in Las Vegas on Friday.

Wembanyama, in front of a sold-out crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, scored 9 points with 8 rebounds and 5 blocks in his first game in the Summer League. Wembanyama shot just 2/13 from the field, around 15%, in the San Antonio Spurs’ 76-68 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

“Just getting used to the new style of play… Next time, I’ll do better,” Wembanyama said on ESPN after the game. “I hope to do better each time.”

The Spurs officially selected Wembanyama with the overall No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft last month. The nearly 7-foot-4 center has been hailed as the most promising player in the NBA since LeBron James and has made a strong impression in France. He is the first-ever No. 1-ranked prospect from France and the first European player to make the draft without playing college basketball since 2006. He is set to play a season in France’s LNB Pro A league, where he led the league in points, rebounds, and blocks, while earning both the MVP of the league and leading his team to the Finals.

Wembanyama encountered a bit of trouble in Las Vegas prior to Friday’s game. He was involved in an incident on Wednesday when a member of his security team confronted pop star Britney Spears as she tried to get his attention at the Aria hotel. A police report was filed, but officials did not press charges after an investigation found that Spears accidentally hit herself in the face after her hand was pushed away from Wembanyama’s back. Wembanyama stated that he was unaware of Spears trying to approach him in the incident and that he “continued to walk and enjoyed a nice dinner.”

The hype around Wembanyama is very real, and it’s easy to see why. Friday marked the second time a Summer League session sold out before its start and the first time an opening session has sold out to date. NBA legends such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jerry West were in attendance. ESPN continued to broadcast Wembanyama’s games throughout the Portland-Houston matchup prior to his own game.

Wembanyama missed his first three shots of the night, including an airball, but eventually had a spinning 5-foot shot to take down two Hornets players early in the first half.

He only went 1/7 from the field in the first half and missed all three of his three-point attempts, but Wembanyama still made several impressive plays on both ends of the court.

In the end, Wembanyama finished with 3 points in the fourth quarter. He committed a foul on a play and converted for four points. Julian Champagnie led the Spurs with 20 points and 8 rebounds. Malaki Branham added 17 points.

Miller, the second overall pick, led the Hornets with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Bryce McGowens contributed 15 points, and James Bouknight finished with 14 points and 9 rebounds.

While Wembanyama’s debut may not have been as flashy as many had hoped, there’s no reason to overreact. So far, the 19-year-old player has only played one game in the Summer League. He has plenty of time to acclimate to the tournament.

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