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NBA: Wembanyama at the All Star Game, why it’s possible… but unlikely

After Tony Parker, Joakim Noah and Rudy Gobert, Victor Wembanyama fourth Frenchman at the All Star Game? The traditional mid-season high mass will take place on February 18 in Indianapolis.

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NBA: Wembanyama at the All Star Game, why it’s possible… but unlikely

After Tony Parker, Joakim Noah and Rudy Gobert, Victor Wembanyama fourth Frenchman at the All Star Game? The traditional mid-season high mass will take place on February 18 in Indianapolis. We already know the list of 10 starters, led in the West by record holder LeBron James, for whom this will be the 20th participation, and in the East by Giannis Antetokounmpo. Could the San Antonio prodigy make replacements, the list of which will be revealed this Thursday? It is not forbidden to think about it, to talk about it, to think about it. Despite the competition in the West and the bottom status of Spurs.

And for good reason, the former Boulogne-Levallois, Asvel and Nanterre player has so far met the XXL expectations placed on him. His repositioning as a pivot and the limitation of his playing time, after his sprained right ankle, combined with the collective progress of Spurs, allowed him to refine his game and make a significant leap in terms of statistics. More efficiency, less ball losses and bad choices. The three-point address (29.9%) remains average. For the rest, he averaged 24.2 points and 50.9% shooting, including 31.8 from long distance, 9.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.2 blocks in the month of January (13 matches). Enough to regain the lead in the race for the title of rookie of the year ahead of Chet Holmgren of Oklahoma City and appear at the top of the ranking of the best blockers in the NBA. The best part is that “Wemby” displays these figures with playing time, as we said, limited: 26.5 minutes per match in January. Imagine his averages if he could have played between 35 and 40 minutes per game!

In summary, his recent performances allow him to be in the conversation, he who is averaging 20.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and as many blocks since the start of the season (41 matches). Issue ? He is not the only one. And its competitors are playing in better teams. However, the collective assessment counts in the choice of coaches, called to vote for the replacements, three “frontcourt” players (wingers, strong wingers, pivots) and two “backcourt” (leaders, backs), as well as two “wild cards” (any position), while the holders, whose list was revealed last week on TNT, are designated by a combination of votes from the public (50%), players and journalists (25%).

Despite obvious progress, Gregg Popovich's Spurs are dead last in the West (10v-37d), which gives a clear advantage to Anthony Davis (L.A. Lakers), Kawhi Leonard, Paul George (L.A. Clippers) and Karl Anthony Towns (Minnesota), even Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento) behind the three holders as his “LBJ”, Nikola Jokic (Denver) and Kevin Durant (Phoenix). Keystone of the best defense in the league, Minnesota, first in the West standings (33v-14d), the three-time French All Star Rudy Gobert, big favorite for the title of best defender, is also a serious client.

Wembanyama could, however, be called as a wild card. Except that behind the starters Luka Doncic (Dallas) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC), there are also some good people at the back and leader positions. Starting with Stephen Curry (Golden State) and Anthony Edwards (Minnesota), not to mention Devin Booker (Phoenix), James Harden (L.A. Clippers), De'Aaron Fox (Sacramento) and other Kyrie Irving (Dallas). There will not be room for everyone in the Western Conference selection. The coaches may say to themselves that “Wemby” has time, that his performances at the start of the season were not enough to be at “ASG” and that San Antonio's record is not good enough. If so, the 20-year-old giant (2.24m) would still have a chance of being part of the party.

Also readNBA: Victor Wembanyama and the Spurs in Paris in 2025? Adam Silver doesn't confirm, but... it's just like

In the event of forfeit(s), it is in fact up to the big boss of the NBA to designate the replacement(s). Adam Silver may remember that the players had Victor Wembanyama in eighth place in the Western Conference frontcourt category. Like the fans (825,831) elsewhere, even if “Wemby” did not benefit from a tidal wave of votes from France, like Alperen Sengun (Houston) in Turkey. In his time, Yao Ming had all of China behind him. Still, the players' vote represents a huge mark of respect. Note that the journalists did not cite the French prodigy, although they put Gobert in seventh place.

To decide between possible substitutes, Adam Silver will perhaps favor the “bankable” side of Victor Wembanyama, already a real star on social networks. In the ranking of the best-selling jerseys on the NBA online store since the start of the season, those of “Wemby” are fourth. The NBA dreams of making it its golden goose for years to come. In San Antonio, we didn't wait. Spurs leaders have already made two trips to France, a “market” that they intend to invest with vigor. It is no coincidence that we should meet the Texan club for one or even two regular season matches at the start of next year, in Paris. “If it were up to me, I would confirm it right away,” Spurs owner Peter J. Holt smiled recently in Paris. All smiles, Adam Silver had previously indicated that Tony Parker's former club had a "strong chance" of being involved in the NBA Paris Game in 2025. There is little suspense. We are only waiting for the officialization.

As for the presence of “Wemby” at the 2024 All Star Game, it is more hypothetical. Not unrealistic, but unlikely. Even LeBron James waited until his sophomore season to join in the fun. But it would only be a postponement. He will play others, many others. Moreover, the MVP of the last French All Star Game will be in Indianapolis. Unsurprisingly, he will participate in the Rising Stars challenge on February 16, a mini-tournament to which first and second year elements, as well as G-League players, are invited. The opportunity for him to team up with his ex-partner at the Mets 92, Bilal Coulibaly (Washington). The young Spurs star also confirmed his participation in the Skills Challenge (February 17). As for the All Star Game, response this Thursday (1 a.m.).

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