Victor Wembanyama, just selected by the Spurs in first position in the NBA draft, has made the decision not to play the next World Cup with the France team, which takes place from August 25 to September 10 in Asia.
He should be missed terribly by the Blues. The new interior of the San Antonio Spurs will not play the next World Cup with the France team to focus on his highly anticipated debut in the NBA.
The former Metropolitans 92 player deemed this choice both “irrevocable” and “frustrating”, pointing out that participation in the next World Cup, from August 25 to September 10 in Asia, would have meant a total of “170 matches in 24 months”, including the upcoming season and the Paris-2024 Olympic Games.
I hope people will understand […] But I think it’s a necessary sacrifice
“It would not be realistic in terms of development and not prudent in terms of health,” said “Wemby”, in an interview carried out by The team in San Antonio, Texas, where the young Frenchman (19), first choice of the draft, has just put down his suitcases after a hectic week during which he received a rock-star welcome in the United States.
The strong winger preferred not to take any risks and prepare for the next NBA regular season. Especially since “Wemby” intends to play in the Summer League, a preparation competition for the next season in which most of the players recently selected in the NBA play.
“I hope people will understand. (…) The France team is still so central. I want to win as many titles as possible with it. But I think it’s a necessary sacrifice”, added the tricolor giant (2.24 m), two days before the announcement by coach Vincent Collet of the group selected for the World Cup.
No pressure from Spurs
Wembanyama, who had his first selection with the Blues last November against Lithuania (90-65), also assured that his new franchise in the NBA had not pressured him to give up the World Cup.
The one who has played 62 games with Boulogne-Levallois this season made this choice “himself”, after consulting his closest entourage, the medical staff who follow him on a daily basis, but also several executives of the France team and his coach, during a videoconference on Saturday, according to The team.
The Paris Olympics in sight
His participation in the next World Cup had not been openly discussed in recent weeks, while media attention was entirely focused on the NBA draft.
At the end of April, Vincent Collet, who was also his coach at Boulogne-Levallois, was however optimistic, saying that the young player was “for the moment”, “very motivated to participate”. “At this level, the news is rather very good,” he said.
We will therefore have to wait for the 2024 Olympic Games in Partis to see the new star of world basketball play in the final phase with the Blues.