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

A closer look at Wembanyama’s record-breaking rookie season


In a league where over half of the NBA teams make the playoffs, on a team that had an all-time franchise worst year in 2023 and landed the No. 1 overall pick and with most of their players returning with more experience under their belt, the Spurs are yet again sitting at home for the fifth straight postseason.

Concluding the season at 22-60 for the second straight year –– which is tied for third for worst seasons by record in San Antonio’s history –– did have one obvious difference, though. That, of course, was Victor Wembanyama, who gave Spurs fans so many great moments when the team was perennial championship contenders. 

From the stat lines to the record-breaking performances, Wembanyama was the light in the cataclysmic season. But what gives the loyal fanbase hope and excitement for what is to come is that the worst the Spurs should ever be in the foreseeable future is now behind them. Throughout the 82-game roller coaster, the rookie Frenchman showcased time and time again that he is on an all-time trajectory, which was backed all season by his mind-boggling totals.

Wembanyama ended the season as the first rookie in NBA history to surpass 1,500 points, 250 assists and 250 blocks. Only Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson have done so in their entire careers. Wemby also joins those three as the only players in the league’s existence to have seven or more games of 20-plus points, 5-plus assists and 5-plus blocks in a season. He also became the 10th player ever to average 20 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in a season, the first to record such averages in less than 30 minutes per game.

Wemby joined Tim Duncan as the only rookies in NBA history to reach 1,400 points, 700 rebounds, 200 assists and 200 blocks while becoming the first player to surpass 1,500 points, 250 blocks and 100 3-pointers in a season. Not only did he lap the field in rookie seasons, but Wembanyama is already stacking up numbers against the greatest basketball players ever.

Despite the records, the 7-foot-3 sensation didn’t seem surprised by any of his performances. In fact, Wemby stated at his end-of-the-year press conference that he didn’t even feel he exceeded his own expectations. 

“Not really,” he said. “This is not how I feel. Maybe it’s the case, but not how I feel because everyday I try to push harder and to do more: get more achievements, more records, more wins. But the next thing I always tell myself is that I didn’t do enough and to push [myself] even more. My first impression isn’t that I exceeded any expectations, [but] that I should’ve done more.”

This is what San Antonio fans can hold on to for the long summer until he returns to the Frost Bank Center in late October. Not only has he become one of the best players in the NBA at 20 years old, but he’s never once seemed to think he’ll slow down. And with the numbers he’s putting up now, with the inexperienced supporting cast around him — including himself?

The sky’s the limit for the Alien.

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About the Contributor
Luke Lawhorn
Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor
Luke (he/him) is an English major at UTSA and is set to graduate in the Spring of 2024. This is his fifth semester at The Paisano and his fourth as the Sports Editor. Along with covering UTSA sports and events, Luke also covers high school sports and local events for the San Antonio Express-News and covers the San Antonio Spurs for The Paisano. He has a huge passion for covering sports and giving his opinion on them. Outside of writing and talking about sports, Luke's hobbies include playing basketball, watching movies and all things outdoors.

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