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'Wemby' turns Spurs media day into international affair

Victor Wembanyama speaks to reporters on Spurs Media Day on Oct. 2, 2023.
Brian Kirkpatrick
Texas Public Radio
Victor Wembanyama speaks to reporters on Spurs Media Day on Oct. 2, 2023.

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Reporters from across the nation and overseas were among those present at Spurs Media Day on Monday. The biggest question is what exact role Victor Wembanyama will play.

Reporters crowded into the Spurs' Medical Area practice facility to ask questions concerning the highly anticipated season ahead. Coach Gregg Popovich and "Wemby" himself said more about his role will be known after what happens on the court during training camp.

"What is he?" Popovich said to reporters. "'Who does he fit best with out there? What should the rotations be?' A lot of cool questions that we'll get to answer," he said of team coaches.

But what is known is that San Antonio has embraced Wemby and he has embraced San Antonio.

Wembanyama, who has great talents on offense and defense and has been described as a generational talent like Lebron James, has been painted into local murals and some menu items have been named for him.

"It's really, really funny, you know, walking around or driving around and just seeing my face sometimes, but I love it, you know? It's always in a same, healthy way here. They treat me like family, even though they don't know me personally, they treat me like family. So, it's really comfortable. Yah, It's really good place."

Wembenyama strikes a pose for team photographer and the media at Spurs Media Day on Oct. 2, 2023
Brian Kirkpatrick
Wembanyama strikes a pose for team photographer and the media at Spurs Media Day on Oct. 2, 2023.

Wembanyama has lifted the spirits of loss weary Spurs fans concerning the upcoming season. But, more importantly, his teammates say he has lifted the sprits of the entire team.

He said despite "Wembymania" that has overshadowed the rest of the team at times, they all get along well.

"All of us have good relations," the seven-feet plus Wembanyama said. "We often have team dinners and meetings, so I'm really glad everything's happening the way it's happening. And yes, I'm feel very lucky. I'm know I'm in a good environment from every aspect."

He said at the end of the day all of the team knows it's about basketball and building a winning team.

Wembanyama said he is in the best shape of his career and has muscled up by 15 or 20 pounds, but he is not trying to add too much, too quick.

The former French pro was peppered with questions in English and in French by media from overseas.

He said he welcomes the mentoring he has received from former Spurs greats Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

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