If you are a basketball fan, you probably have heard of the hype surrounding Victor Wembanyama, the 7-foot-3 French phenom who was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs with the first overall pick in the 2023 NBA draft. Wembanyama has been touted as a generational talent, a unicorn who can shoot, dribble, pass and defend like no other big man in history. But on Friday he got a rude awakening in his Summer League debut against the Charlotte Hornets.
The game was going well for the Spurs, who were up by 14 points in the third quarter. But things took an unexpected turn when Kai Jones, the athletic rising Hornets star, caught an alley-oop pass, and soared over Wembanyama for a vicious dunk that sent the Frenchman tumbling into the crowd.
But what made the dunk even more hilarious was the fact that it happened right in front of Spurs general manager Brian Wright, who was being interviewed by Doris Burke on the sideline. Wright had just praised Wembanyama for his potential and work ethic, when he saw his prized rookie get posterized by Jones.
Wright tried to keep his composure, but he couldn’t hide his shock and disappointment. Burke, on the other hand, couldn’t help but laugh and make a joke about Wembanyama getting his “welcome to the NBA moment”. The dunk was a highlight of Jones’ impressive performance showing that he’s ready to take the next step this coming season, and shine in his growing role for the Hornets.
Wembanyama going from doing pull-ups using an arena tunnel ceiling, to getting dunked by Kai Jones is quite the story for an NBA debut, albeit in the Summer League. The embarrassing moment will probably motivate on him on his quest to live up the immense hype that has been bestowed upon him.
Although he struggled shooting, what shined most in his first game going into the fourth quarter was his rim protection, at the time of this writing he had 5 blocks in the game, which interestingly was the same amount of points he had. Dunks like that are going to happen when you hover around the rim like that.