Analysis: Wembanyama Showed the Repertoire, as NBA Watched

October 5, 2022

HENDERSON, Nev. — Victor Wembanyama didn’t wait long to make an impression.

The 7-foot-4 French phenomenon from the club Metropolitans 92 blocked shots at the rim and on the perimeter, got rebounds, ran the floor, set screens, scored on a nifty spin move, showed off his ability to dribble, dove for a loose ball and even played point guard on one possession.

Oh, and all that was in the first two minutes.

Talk about setting the tone. The 200 scouts and NBA executives who came to see a show didn’t have to pay for their tickets Tuesday night, but if they had, they wouldn’t have been short-changed at any price. Wembanyama showed off all the skills that have him widely presumed to be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA draft.

His final numbers, in his first game under NBA rules and with 12-minute quarters: 37 points, 11-for-20 shooting, seven 3-pointers, five blocked shots, four rebounds.

“He was amazing, sometimes,” Metropolitans 92 coach Vincent Collet said.

The final score, as if it mattered: G League Ignite 122, Metropolitans 92 115, with Scoot Henderson — the consensus No. 2 pick, as of now anyway — finishing with 28 points and nine assists for the Ignite.

Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92’s Victor Wembanyama, left, is defended by NBA G League Ignite’s Leonard Miller, right, during the first half of an exhibition basketball game Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in Henderson, Nev. (AP Photo/John Locher)

The teams will play again Thursday afternoon; after that, the next time Wembanyama plays a game of any significance on U.S. soil will likely be at Summer League next July.

“It was a great experience, a great experience,” Wembanyama said. “I can’t wait to do it again. I know we’ll do it again in two days, and then for the rest of my life.”

Much of the Wembanyama repertoire was on full display, and it was as good as advertised. He made 3-pointers. Step-back jumpers. Did what seemed to be mildly reminiscent of the Michael Jordan shrug from the 1992 NBA Finals after one of those shots fell. Played through what appeared to be a bit of a twisted ankle, making a fadeaway 3 while doing so. He even argued foul calls like a seasoned NBA veteran and may have had a legitimate case on a couple occasions.

There are many ways for the 18-year-old to get better. But it’s clear: He’s ready for the NBA, ready for the scrutiny that will come going into the draft, the scrutiny that will come if he indeed is the No. 1 pick.

“He’s really a talented player,” Ignite coach Jason Hart said.

Even the stuff that didn’t show up next to Wembanyama’s name in the box score was eye-popping at times. Case in point: a play midway through the second quarter when he set a pick near midcourt, rolled, caught a pass a couple inches inside the 3-point line, took one dribble and went airborne — because by then, he was already in the middle of the lane. He tried to elevate over multiple Ignite players, took a shot, got fouled, shrugged off the contact and dunked the rebound.

It didn’t count, but still had some sitting courtside reacting in disbelief.

There are always shows in Vegas, but Cirque du Soleil wasn’t the French brand capturing the basketball world’s attention on Tuesday night.

San Antonio executive R.C. Buford and Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti were chatting pregame. Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Trevor Ariza, in town with the Phoenix Suns to play the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night, showed up to watch with seats near the Metropolitans bench. DeMarcus Cousins grabbed a seat near the Ignite bench. Chelsea Gray and A’ja Wilson of the WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces — coming off a FIBA World Cup gold medal won a few days ago as well — watched from one of the baselines. The WNBA trophy even made an appearance.

“Everyone’s going to be watching him,” said Metropolitans 92 guard Tremont Waters, who has played for three NBA clubs.

And this wasn’t just The Victor Show, either. Henderson — another super-talented 18-year-old — believes he should be the No. 1 pick and had more than his share of moments. He got around Wembanyama’s incredible 8-foot wingspan a couple times for layups, got him in the air to set up assists to Ignite teammates a couple more times, made a step-back 3 over him as well.

“Scoot’s pretty good,” Hart said.

He also tried what would have been a dunk with 3:31 left. Wembanyama swatted it away with ease. Henderson also tried a 3 with 1:31 left; Wembanyama sent that into the seats.

But Henderson — who was 11 for 21 from the field, three of those 10 misses being blocks by Wembanyama — more than lived up to his end of the bargain in this made-for-TV showdown.

“This game meant a lot to Scoot,” said Ignite forward Shareef O’Neal, the son of Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal. “That’s my No. 1 pick.”

Said Henderson: “I feel like I impacted the game.”

Henderson showed some fire. He gave the Metropolitans’ bench a long look when time was called in the second quarter and the Ignite were starting to build their lead. Wembanyama had a little edge to him as well; he made a 3-pointer from near the Ignite bench early in the second half, then turned and gave those seated there a look, then converted a four-point play on his next possession.

Nicolas Batum, who played for Collet at the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021 and the 2019 Basketball World Cup in China, tweeted this during the second half: “One thing for sure is that the first 2 picks are LOCKED for the next NBA draft.”

Much can change between now and June. But Batum’s prediction seems pretty safe.

A Victor vs. Scoot show was what the NBA wanted. It delivered.




MILWAUKEE — Grayson Allen's sizzling start for Milwaukee meant the Dallas Mavericks couldn't stop their recent cold spell.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Starts to Erupt, Sending Ash Nearby (Video)

HONOLULU — Hawaii's Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, has started to erupt for the first time in nearly four decades, prompting volcanic ash and debris to fall nearby, authorities said Monday.

ATHENS - Coming out of nowhere to rise to third in the world in Blue Flag beaches certified as having pristine waters and conditions, Turkey plans to overtake number one Spain and number two Greece to become first.

LONDON - Greek Prime Minster Kyriakos Mitsotakis told a conference of potential investors in London that he'll win re-election in 2023 and accelerate an economic recovery, make sure it reaches all of society and bring sustainable energy sources.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Five Connecticut police officers were charged Monday with cruelly neglecting a Black man after he was partially paralyzed in the back of a police van, despite his repeated and desperate pleas for help.

JACKSON, Miss. — Retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre is asking to be removed from a lawsuit by the state of Mississippi that seeks to recover millions of dollars in misspent welfare money that was intended to help some of the poorest people in the U.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.