NBA

Spurs 'don't want to change' Wembanyama

By Sports Desk March 01, 2024

The San Antonio Spurs are not looking to change Victor Wembanyama, so says teammate Tre Jones.

Wembanyama recorded a stat line that had never been seen in an NBA game in the Spurs' 132-118 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.

The rookie sensation finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, five blocked shots and five 3-pointers. He is the first player in NBA history with at least 10 boards, five assists, five blocks and five made 3s in a game.

And Jones says the Spurs are just letting Wembanyama do his own thing.

"I think just let him be him," Jones said. "We don't want to change that. Look where it's gotten him to this point."

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich added: "He obviously is not afraid to put himself out there.

"He will take shots and he is not afraid. He is not worried if he misses it or what the consequences are or anything like that. He likes those moments."

Wembanyama, meanwhile, channeled the words of the late, great Kobe Bryant.

"It's a lot [to do with] mentality," he said. "You know Kobe said to win a game, it mostly takes shots, big shots, because they don't call like any fouls.

"It's not as much the physical battle. Even though in defense it's 90 per cent effort, but offensively it's a lot of mental."

Wembanyama came out on top in the tussle of the rookies against Chet Holmgren, who finished with 23 points as the Thunder saw a six-game winning run come to an end.

"It's just another reminder that this is the NBA," Holmgren said.

"No team is in the NBA for no reason. No player is in the NBA for no reason. Any team can beat another on any given night regardless of record or anything. They came out confident. Part of that was them, part of that was us. We should be better [in] the next one. A lot of guys stepped up and hit big shots. Credit to them for coming ready to play."

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