“Wembymania” took on another dimension this weekend. Cheered the day before by more than 300 people upon his arrival at the San Antonio airport, Victor Wembanyama paraded on Saturday morning, June 24, and made a splash on the Riverwalk, in the heart of this Texas city. The venue, a sort of pedestrian promenade full of shops, was adorned with the Spurs logos for the presentation to the fans of the two rookies French (newcomers), Sidy Cissoko and Victor Wembanyama, then.
“They always told me about the San Antonio Spurs. It is probably the most important franchise in the history of French basketball.explains the 19-year-old player, on a stage set up for the occasion, while a photo of his youth is projected, it was Nanterre, with the Spurs shirt on his shoulders.
Drafted in first place at New York’s Barclays Center on Thursday, Victor Wembanyama is already more than just a player for the Texas franchise. The Spurs’ other two first draft picks, in 1987 under David Robinson and 1997 under Tim Duncan, had not unleashed such a frenzy in this city of 1.5 million people. Between a few Summer League matches and probably the World Cup (from August 25 to September 10, in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines), Victor Wembanyama won’t have much time to discover this former Mexican city, very Catholic and already crazy about him.
Candles representing “Wemby” in Christ and several murals gradually appeared in the streets. “The Wemby Burger,” made with foie gras and sold for $1 on draft day, or even a drink called “The Alien” were popular in San Antonio. “The past seventy-two hours have been a compendium of incredible emotions for Victornotes Bouna N’Diaye, one of the French’s two agents. Spurs fans didn’t know him but welcomed him as if he were a member of the family. Everything is like a dream, really. »
“I want to impress”
Following in the footsteps of Tony Parker and Boris Diaw at the Spurs, Victor Wembanyama was able, very stealthily, to discover the facilities of the AT&T Center (18,500 seats). Before he appeared on the floor for his first words to the local press, the room was plunged into darkness. A music video, featuring some of his best actions and touching messages from his loved ones, was then projected onto the cube in the room.
Presented to the press in near anonymity – only Spurs employees and their families were able to attend the event – the former Boulogne-Levallois Mets player was welcomed with dignity by the franchise. “It’s a legendary day for Spurs”insisted Jordan Howenstine, one of the franchise’s seven publicists, in the introduction.
You still have 48.37% of this article to read. The following is for subscribers only.