There’s good and bad when it comes to being a white hot star, and let’s not kid ourselves Victor Wembanyama is already that. This is going to be an adjustment for all parties involved. The Spurs and #1 overall pick and rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama have been in the headlines a lot lately but the most recent isn’t what anyone wants.
Wemby’s security detail allegedly struck Pop star Britney Spears Wednesday night in Vegas, after a member of NBA phenom Victor Wembanyama’s security backhanded her in the face, and she has filed a police report. Damian Smith (The Director of Team Security for the Spurs) is alleged to have backhanded Britney after coming up from behind them on their way to the a restaurant called Catch inside the Aria.
Now I want to be clear I don’t believe Victor is at fault or anything of that nature, but his status before even playing a single NBA game is that of supervova status to the likes we haven’t seen or even fathomed likely. He is a Superstar and with that comes both good and bad, this is the bad. This headline was obsoletely the latter of the two, but as Cowboys fans know, and a lot of you Spurs fans are indeed Cowboys fans, that’s the price of being in the news cycle 24/7 good and bad.
Now Wemby is in Vegas due to the fact he is playing in the Las Vegas Summer league and the effect is already seen there as his debut is Friday against #2 overall pick Brandon Miller and that game is already sold out (over 17,500 tickets). Summer League basketball is SOLD OUT because it is Victor Wembanyama’s first game as a San Antonio Spur. This is not like Tim Duncan who didn’t want the spotlight Victor actually said he wants to be the best at everything including the media which means if he lives up to the hype it will only get even bigger. It shines a light on the city, the organization and everything about us and him. The focus on this kid and attention around him is not like that of previous Spurs who didn’t want the spotlight, shied away from it (Tim Duncan) for the most part even and the team made sure that they kept it as low as they wanted.
With Wemby that isn’t the case anymore, either the Spurs or Wemby will likely have to adapt to the other, or maybe both meet somewhere in the middle. I think the Spurs have already changed slightly from the way things have been done as evidence by things they’ve done including the opening press conference which was held on the floor of the AT&T Center with a stage and a Lego Eiffel Tower next to it which is far and away from how things had been handled previously. Victor has even said he wants to be the best at everything including the media. Now maybe the Spurs go closer to being more media driven, or maybe Wemby falls closer to what the Spurs have been. My guess if you asked me is they likely meet somewhere in the middle. Wemby has a ton of experience surrounding him to lean on with figuring that part of it out in terms of the former stars (Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, David Robinson, Sean Elliott ect.) in how it can be and what the best way for him to approach it.
The truth is I don’t think any of us are quite ready for this experience and the focus of the basketball world and eyes now falls directly on San Antonio and we’ve got a person who absolutely embraces this aspect of it and is comfortable being in it, and his handling of the situation at a post practice presser goes to show that he may be far more ready to deal with this than any of us are.
James Pledger Host of Extra Innings with Pledger weekdays 6-7p, and the Saturday Morning Hangover Saturday’s 9-11a, Producer for the Blitz weekdays 2-6p. Follow me on Twitter, Threads and Instagram @iampledger