There’s nothing like a game against the worst team in the league to feel good. French basketball player Victor Wembanyama achieved the first triple double of his NBA career on Wednesday January 10 in Detroit against the disintegrating Pistons, allowing his San Antonio Spurs team to easily win 130 to 108.

With 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in just 21 minutes of play, the last number one in the draft reached a new level in the 32nd game of his first season in the prestigious North American league. Six days after turning 20, he is the fifth youngest player in NBA history to record a triple double – more than ten units in three different statistical categories – behind Josh Giddey, LaMelo Ball, Markelle Fultz and Luka Doncic, all authors of this performance at 19 years old. He is slightly ahead of “King” LeBron James on this point, author of a first triple double at 20 years and 20 days old, but during his second season in the league.

Deprived of their best player Cade Cunnigham, the Pistons (3 wins and 35 losses), the only team with a record lower than that of the Spurs (6 wins and 30 losses), suffered the law of the French giant (2.24 m) whose Playing time has been reduced since an ankle scare in December.

Festival of beautiful passes

Wembanyama, used to games with more than 10 points and 10 rebounds, attacked the match fully (6 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists in the first quarter) and displayed his passing skills, with a ball slipped between his legs from an opponent, or another, magnificent, sent with one hand from his camp to find Jeremy Sochan under the opponent’s basket.

“He’s a very good passer, he was already one before this triple double,” said his coach Gregg Popovich. He was very focused on offense during his minutes. The others learn how to move around him. »

Quickly in front, the Spurs gradually broke away and never trembled on the floor of the Pistons who, at the end of December, established a new NBA “record” by conceding 28 consecutive defeats in the same season.

The French player can nevertheless have some regrets with a fairly low success rate on shots (6 out of 16, or 37.5%), including 0 out of 4 from three points.

Wemby in Paris next season?

The Spurs will host Charlotte on Friday with the hope of achieving a second consecutive success, which has not happened to them for more than three months. And on a more distant horizon, the Texan franchise hopes to settle down in Paris next season during a relocated regular season match.

The boss of the NBA, Adam Silver, present in the French capital for the meeting organized Thursday at Bercy between Cleveland and Brooklyn, opened the door to a Spurs match on French soil. “We can’t confirm it but we are working on bringing the San Antonio Spurs here,” he said during a press briefing with a few journalists. The path seems clear for the arrival of the former Boulogne-Levallois and Nanterre player, in whom Adam Silver says he sees “a probable icon for the twenty years to come”.

“Victor spoke to us directly about it. He would like to experience this match. We would love to bring him here with San Antonio,” added the NBA boss, whose franchise this year chose a Frenchman in first position for the first time in its history.

Thursday’s game between the Cavaliers and the Nets is the third in four years to take place in the French capital – after Charlotte-Milwaukee in January 2020 and Detroit-Chicago last year.

Some 300 to 400 tickets (out of around 15,000) remained available on Wednesday evening, according to the NBA, in a price range of 355 to 665 euros. Adam Silver, however, has “no doubt”: this meeting, for which nationals from “51 countries” have bought a ticket, will be sold out. It will certainly be much further in advance next year if Victor Wembanyama was ever on the bill.