Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Wemby & Chet: Will this be a battle for years to come?

Courtesy of Michael Gonzales/NBAE

The Spurs tipped off their preseason last week as they went head-to-head with Oklahoma City on Oct. 9. Despite falling 122-121 to the Thunder, it was an action-packed game. It can be seen as memorable since this was Victor Wembanyama’s preseason debut as a Spur. During this game, fans were able to see a matchup between “Wemby” and Oklahoma City’s Chet Holmgren. With both being seven-foot power forwards, could this be a new era of rivalry in the NBA’s Western Conference?

Wembanyama, the reigning No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, stands at 7-feet-4 inches. Holmgren, the second overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, stands at 7-feet-1 inch. Both players are a part of a new generation of basketball and towering in size. There aren’t very many players in the league that can compare to these two.

In the preseason opener, fans got to watch these two, along with their young and upcoming teams, battle to the final buzzer. Viewers and commentators even saw a rivalry burning between Wembanyama and Holmgren, who often guarded each other and each had comparable hype coming into the league. Their NBA debut stats are similar, with Wembanyama scoring 20 points and five rebounds while Holmgren finished with 21 points and nine rebounds. 

In the post-game interview, Wemby went on to say how games will look in the future with Oklahoma City. 

“I know it’s just preseason, but for sure the games against OKC are gonna be interesting,” Wembanyama said. 

Coach Gregg Popovich also mentioned the back-and-forth between Wemby and Chet in the post-game interview

“It was basic basketball that the basketball gods would agree with,” Popovich said. “They’re going to be a lot of fun for everybody to watch over their careers.”

The Thunder came out with a win, but Holmgren did take the game to X to respond to a play that occurred early in the game. “The headbutt is an unstoppable move,” Holmgren said. The clip received a lot of attention across social media.

Can this be a new rivalry in the Western Conference to look forward to? The Spurs will take on the Thunder again at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the Paycom Center.

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