NBA: Wembanyama targeting Spurs playoff berth in first season

sports gates الثلاثاء 19 سبتمبر 2023 - 12:48

FILE – San Antonio Spurs’ Victor Wembanyama reacts after a play against the Portland Trail Blazers during the second half of an NBA summer league basketball game Sunday, July 9, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

French basketball prodigy Victor Wembanyama says he hopes to lead the San Antonio Spurs back to the NBA playoffs as he prepares for his first season in the league.

Wembanyama, regarded as a generational talent who was chosen by the Spurs in June with the No.1 pick in the NBA Draft, is dreaming of making an instant impact at his new club.

Asked what his goal would be for his first season in Texas, the 19-year-old replied: “To qualify for the playoffs.”

San Antonio last played in the postseason in the 2018-2019 campaign, losing in the first round to the Denver Nuggets.

But the arrival of Wembanyama has sent expectations skyrocketing amongst the San Antonio fanbase, with the talented teenager expected to spark a swift reversal in the franchise’s fortunes.

Victor Wembanyama Spurs NBA

Victor Wembanyama #1 of the San Antonio Spurs poses for a portrait during the 2023 NBA rookie photo shoot at UNLV on July 12, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jamie Squire/Getty Images/AFP

Wembanyama, who was speaking to journalists on Monday during an online press conference to preview the documentary “Un1que” on the Canal+ French network, said he feels no pressure despite the hype that has surrounded his arrival in the NBA.

“I don’t feel any pressure. These are stages that are part of the life of a basketball player,” he said.

“When you have such high goals it’s normal that there is so much attention, questions, invasive people.”

While Wembanyama is hoping for a swift return to the playoffs, he said he is prepared to be patient to achieve his long-term dream of winning an NBA championship.

“For the future, the best thing is not knowing what awaits us,” he said. “It’s very hard to win a (championship) ring. But I’m patient, I know it will happen at one point or another.”

Wembanyama is expected to make his regular season debut for San Antonio on October 25 when the Spurs host the Dallas Mavericks in their first game of the 2023-2024 campaign.

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