Spurs' Victor Wembanyama ends rookie season with flashes of greatness, but Wranglers' future is cloudy

The good news for the San Antonio Spurs and their fans is that Victor Wembanyama looks like a star in the making. The bad news is just about everything else.

The Spurs finished the season with the third-worst record in the NBA at 32-50, including a franchise-worst 18-game losing streak. They missed the play-in tournament and will be drafting in the top five for the second consecutive year.

It's been a disappointing season, but Wembanyama has supplied plenty of highlights and flashes of the All-NBA caliber of play that the Spurs dreamed of when they drafted him first overall. He finished the season averaging 15.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 57.4 percent from the field and 39.0 percent from 3-point range.

Here's a look back at Wembanyama's rookie season, filled with highlights, memorable moments, and frustration.

October 2023: A rocky start to the season The Spurs started the season 0-3, and Wembanyama struggled in his first three games, shooting a combined 9-of-26 from the field. He also picked up eight fouls in 23 minutes in his first regular-season game against the Mavericks.

It was clear from the start that the Spurs were going to be a bad team this year, but losses and struggles didn't detract from the excitement of Wembanyama's debut. He drew a sellout crowd in his first game at the AT&T Center -- where tickets soared up to nearly $1,000 on the secondary market -- and he didn't disappoint.

Even though the Spurs lost, Wembanyama flashed his potential with a few impressive plays, including a put-back dunk and a block on a dunk attempt by Mavericks center Dwight Powell.

"I think tonight showed that we have a lot to work on, but there are also things that we did well," Wembanyama said after the game. "For me, the first game, I think I did what I had to do to help the team."

October 2023: A highlight reel Wembanyama continued to struggle with his shooting in his second game, going 3-of-12 from the field, but he made up for it with one of the highlights of the season.

With just under two minutes to play in the second quarter, Wembanyama received a pass from Tre Jones near the 3-point line. Rather than trying to make a move on Holmgren, who was guarding him, he threw the ball off the backboard and threw down a huge alley-oop.

"I didn't really see him behind me, but I just threw it back," Wembanyama said. "I wanted to make the play I made in the summer league, but this time, I didn't see him behind me. I just threw it back and I was lucky."

Wemby, LeBron face off as Spurs snap 18-game skid The Spurs would use that momentum to snap their franchise-worst 18-game losing streak and hand LeBron James and the Lakers their first loss of the season.

"The whole city was excited to play tonight," Wembanyama said after the game. "We were so happy to get this win, and hopefully, we can keep going."

December 2023: A historic season from Wembanyama Wembanyama had a historic stretch from Dec. 8 to Dec. 28 in which he recorded four straight double-doubles, became the youngest player in NBA history to record a 20-20 game and posted a triple-double with less than 25 minutes of play.

Wembanyama scored 21 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in a loss to the Pelicans to become the youngest player in NBA history to record a 20-20 game.

"I think tonight was just a culmination of the work I've been doing," Wembanyama said. "I feel like my whole career, I've been working toward this, and I think tonight was just the start of what I can do."

A few days later, he became the first player in NBA history to record a 20-20-20 game, finishing with 27 points, 20 rebounds and 20 assists in a 125-107 win over the Bulls.

"I think I made the right plays," Wembanyama said. "I didn't force anything, and when I had opportunities, I just took them."

Wembanyama followed that up by recording a triple-double in a win over the Trail Blazers, becoming the first rookie since Oscar Robertson in 1961 to post a triple-double in less than 25 minutes of play.

"I think tonight was one of those nights where everything just clicked," Wembanyama said. "Everything that we worked on with my teammates, with the coaches, it just clicked, and it was just fluid, and we just moved from made shot to made shot."

January 2024: A historic finish Wembanyama capped off his impressive rookie season by recording his first career triple-double, putting up 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks in a win over the Grizzlies.

It was another memorable performance from the 19-year-old, who is the youngest player in NBA history to record

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