Victor Wembanyama insists there’s ‘no time to waste’ amid Spurs’ strong final surge

Spurs superstar Victor Wembanyama isn’t letting all the losing affect his attitude.

As striking as he is physically and as noteworthy as his accomplishments have been this season, perhaps what has stood out just as much about San Antonio Spurs rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama is his mindset. It was again on full display on Friday night.

“For me, there’s no question. I’m not hearing this. It’s just my mentality, my philosophy. I made a commitment to this team. I have a responsibility toward the organization, the team and the fans. There’s no reason to sit out,” the generational talent said following a 111-109 victory vs. the New Orleans Pelicans when asked if he plans to play every one of the final games of a season in which the Spurs have one of the NBA’s worst records.

“If I sit out and whenever I sat out this year it was to avoid any injury,” Wemby made sure to make clear.

The favorite to win the league’s Rookie of the Year nearly notched his third triple double of the season with 17 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists in nearly notching his fourth triple-double of the season.

The Victor Wembanyama effect

While three key Spurs have been out, two of them will miss the remainder of the season, the top pick in this past summer’s draft says the team can count on him taking the court through this final week of the season.

“There’s no more risk now than there was halfway through the season so I’m going to keep going,” Wemby said.

That Devin Vassell, Jeremy Sochan and Keldon Johnson missed Friday’s game made Wemby’s efforts that much more important.

“The best thing about Vic is he loves passing the ball,” Spurs forward Sandro Mamukelashvili said. “Even though sometimes he doesn’t make a shot, every time you’re open he won’t be a selfish player who tries to just jack up a shot. He’s gonna give you the ball and trust you and trust your decision making. I just love playing with him. He’s a great player.”

“He’s always been a good passer since he got here in the summer,” guard Devonte’ Graham added. “Obviously, as the season goes along, you start to get more reads and he’s doing a better job of finding the open guys and the guys are making shots so that helps.”

Over these final five games, it doesn’t matter to Wembanyama that the Spurs playoff hopes ended long ago.

“He can get going,” Graham said. “Everybody knows that. He just plays the game. He’s just out there just doing what he does, being aggressive, making plays, making the right reads. He can score the ball, obviously, so that’s nothing we ever really worry about.”

“We want to build,” Wembanyama insisted.

“If we want to be best, there’s no time to be wasting. The season is long, it’s almost over. We all need rest but we made a commitment to be there and every single game, we’ve got to be a hundred percent. So, it’s how it’s going to go.”

It falls in line with the culture the 20-year-old superstar seems to be building in San Antonio.

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