Top Stories

Wemby Watch: Victor Wembanyama makes NBA history after busy All-Star break

Spurs superstar begins final stretch of the season with a historic performance and major off-the-court endeavor.

Victor Wembanyama recorded a rare 5×5 stat line against LeBron James and the Lakers on Friday night.

• Download the NBA App >

Stay up to date on No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama during his rookie campaign with the San Antonio Spurs. A new Wemby Watch drops every Sunday during the season. After a one-week hiatus due to the All-Star break, our series resumes with a look at everything we saw since Feb. 11: 

On the court 🏀

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich mentioned he wanted to increase Wemby’s workload coming out of All-Star break.

The rookie had averaged approximately 28 minutes, playing a chunk of the season on a minutes restriction to protect a sore ankle. In the two games back since All-Star, Wembanyama has played 31 minutes in each. Naturally, increased minutes translated into ramped up production.

Wembanyama became just the 15th player in NBA history (and the youngest ever) to tally a 5×5 stat line Friday in a loss to the Lakers with 27 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 steals and 5 blocks. The French phenom narrowly missed hitting the milestone the night before at Sacramento, finishing one assist short of the mark.

In that loss to the Kings, Wembanyama snagged his 500th rebound in his 50th career game to become the third-fastest player to tally 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 150 blocks behind Shaquille O’Neal (43 games) and Spurs Hall of Famer David Robinson (47 games).

Popovich has preached to players in San Antonio for years the importance of never skipping steps. Wembanyama pointed out that “my whole life” he’s heard the mantra.

“But that didn’t stop me from running up the stairs,” the rookie said.

Clearly. Keep going.

1-man highlight reel 🤯

While the All-Star break is officially behind us, we couldn’t help but look back at Wembanyama’s impressive week leading up to a busy weekend in Indiana. With that, we give you an extended package of the Spurs rookie, featuring our favorite plays from games played during Week 17 and Week 18.

Check out some of Victor Wembanyama's top plays from games played during Week 17 & Week 18 of the 2023-24 season.

One stat to know 📊

Prior to the All-Star break, Wembanyama logged a rare triple-double with blocked shots in the Spurs’ 122-99 win over the Raptors. It marked the second triple-double of his career, and his first with blocks. In fact, the NBA’s leader in blocked shots produced the first triple-double with blocks since 2021, when Clint Capela put up 13 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocks for the Atlanta Hawks.

All-Star Weekend recap ⭐️

Panini Rising Stars

Led by two-time AT&T Slam Dunk champion Mac McClung (12 points),  Team Detlef cut short Wembanyama’s time in the Panini Rising Stars at All-Star 2024 with a 41-36 semifinals victory over Team Pau.

Wembanyama certainly contributed his fair share, going 5-for-6 from the field for 11 points with seven rebounds and two blocks. The stat likely eating at him most after this showing was turnovers (five). Fixing that issue is the next evolution in the 20-year-old’s game, according to Popovich.

“He scores. He blocks shots. He rebounds,” the Spurs coach said. “But he turns it over a little bit. That’s what we’ve been concentrating on: making his game more solid, a little bit tighter.”

Ahead of Rising Stars, Wembanyama spent time with the creator of the famous “shake and bake” move Jamal Crawford.


Jamal Crawford teaches Victor Wembanyama some of his dribbles moves 🔥 #nba #nbabasketball #basketball #allstar #victorwembanyama

♬ original sound – bleacherreport

The retired three-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year mentioned seeing video of Wembanyama pulling off his famous move during a training session, but says he never performed the full version of the move in live game action.

So, in addition to teaching the Spurs rookie the full shake and bake, Crawford promised to pass down a bag of unreleased moves to Wemby if he performed the shake and bake in a game at Rising Stars. That didn’t happen.

We’re betting the generous Crawford will still pass down the moves though.

Kia Skills Challenge

The ultra-competitive Wembanyama took this event seriously. The rest of Team Top Picks, which also featured Paolo Banchero and Anthony Edwards, entered competition with a more lackadaisical approach.

That was especially true for Edwards. The Timberwolves star vowed to shoot left-handed throughout the competition, and that led to his first two corner 3-point attempts bouncing off the side of the backboard.

“You want to have fun,” Wembanyama said when asked about his teammate’s left-handed heaves in the Skills Challenge. “Fun is winning.”

NBA All-Star Technology Summit

Ahmad Wembanyama. That’s what we witnessed through AI during the 24th annual NBA All-Star Technology Summit. Alongside commissioner Adam Silver, Wembanyama demonstrated technology that made it possible to superimpose his face onto host Ahmad Rashad’s face in real time.

Praise from NBA Legends 👏

Let’s start this out with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has played against Wembanyama only once, but left the experience convinced he’s seen the future of the NBA.

“There’s never going to be anyone else like him,” Antetokounmpo said at All-Star media day. “He’s like 7-[foot]-5. I was standing next to him. He’s way taller than me. The feel, that’s the first thing I noticed, the feel for the game. You can’t really teach that. When to shoot, when to defend, when to sprint, when to help, when to not help, the timing on blocking shots. That, you cannot teach.”

Antetokounmpo pointed out “that’s the scary part” of Wembanyama’s ascension because that “feel” will only improve over time for the 20-year-old.

“You have it or you don’t,” Antetokounmpo said. “You can get stronger. You can get faster. You can dribble better, shoot better, all of this. He’s going to dominate on the court because he’s unguardable. You can’t guard him one-on-one. I don’t know if you can guard him two versus one or three versus one. We tried, and we couldn’t. A lot of people around the NBA have tried.”

Wembanyama’s praise was sung throughout All-Star weekend with two-time Kia MVP Nikola Jokic and 20-year NBA veteran Crawford also chiming in about the Spurs rookie.

In the spotlight 📸

The French phenom appreciates style. That was apparent on the TNT set before the All-Star Game, when he met with the Inside the NBA crew while sporting a fresh Louis Vuitton fit.

The fashion house announced two days later the 20-year-old was named its newest brand ambassador. Louis Vuitton consummated that partnership by placing a billboard featuring Wembanyama on the south side of San Antonio.

“Striving for excellence and with a perpetual honing of our craft, Victor joins Louis Vuitton on a journey of shared values and aligned ambitions,” the French luxury house wrote in a statement. “Like Louis Vuitton himself, the young athlete has blazed a trail, excelling in a career that is only just beginning.”

Tunnel drip 💧

From the 2023 Draft night to now, here are a few of our favorite Louis Vuitton fits worn by Wembanyama so far.

Anytime Wembanyama strolls into an arena wearing a mask, opponents should worry.

On this occasion, the rookie notched his rare triple-double with blocks in a win at Toronto, finishing with 27 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 blocks in what would turn out to be San Antonio’s last victory (Feb. 12). 

Earlier in the season, Wembanyama masked up when he arrived at Footprint Center in Phoenix on Halloween earlier this season dressed as Slenderman. The Spurs bested the Suns 115-114 that night.

Sense a trend here? 

* * *

Michael C. Wright is a senior writer for E-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on X.

Michaela Gilmer is a producer for