Victor Wembanyama’s rookie season stats make LeBron James look like an average NBA player

The Spurs phenom put together a stellar debut season in the NBA

Wembanyama led the NBA in blocks as a rookie.

The rebuilding San Antonio Spurs received a major boost last year when they won the NBA Draft lottery — and received the right to select French phenom Victor Wembanyama with the #1 overall pick. Wembanyama, the most-hyped basketball prospect since LeBron James 20 years earlier, entered the NBA in October with huge expectations — and he met them, in a rookie season that seemed to get better with each passing game.

The 2023/24 regular season is over, and with it, Wembanyama’s debut campaign in North America. Wembanyama sat out San Antonio‘s season finale on Sunday afternoon, but he had already put the finishing touches on a record-breaking rookie season in the NBA, a taste of the potential that the 20-year-old is just starting to tap into.

Wemby makes history — again and again

Across his 71 games this season, Wembanyama became the first NBA player ever to score at least 1,500 points, block 250 shots, and knock down 100 3-pointers — all in the same year. By contrast, James‘ rookie season in 2003/04 (granted, a much different time in the NBA) saw him average fewer points per game and make fewer threes despite playing nearly 40 minutes per night.

Wembanyama is probable to win Rookie of the Year honors, despite fierce competition from Oklahoma City‘s Chet Holmgren. He averaged better than 21 points and 10 rebounds per game — a double-double for the season — and led the NBA in blocks with 3.6 

Wembanyama hit five 3-pointers in a game on three occasions and also showed great potential as a passer, notching at least seven assists in nine different games. Perhaps most impressively, Wembanyama did all this damage while being handled with kid gloves by head coach Gregg Popovich — Wemby‘s season average for minutes settled at just under 30 per game.

Spurs end poor season with a bang

Even without Wembanyama for the season’s final game against the Detroit Pistons, the Spurs ended the 2023/24 campaign with a blowout victory to generate good vibes before next season.

San Antonio ends its season with a 21-61 record following its 123-95 home win over Detroit on Sunday afternoon, a result that condemned the Pistons to a 14-68 record — the worst in the NBA this season. A balanced scoring effort saw eight different Spurs score at least 10 points, with third-year power forward Sandro Mamukelashvili‘s 18 points leading the way in an encouraging display.

Even though the Spurs have lost at least 60 games in consecutive seasons, the future is bright in San Antonio with Popovich poised to return for a 29th season in charge — and Wembanyama likely finding ways to get even better in 2024/25.

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