Wembanyama. Wembanyama. Wembanyama everywhere. We are reading this hard-to-pronounce surname all over basketball-related sites. But then why does Victor Wembanyama play for Metropolitans 92, also known as Mets92, and left ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne, a team playing in the EuroLeague and reigning French champions?
Serious injury risk
Let ’s start by saying that we don ’t have a definitive answer. Just to be clear and honest from the beginning. Certainly there is a motivation related to commitments. The Frenchman class of 2004 has nothing to prove. It has been known for two years that he will be the first overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft., so he does not have to show off to try to climb the ranks as many European players have to do, see for example Luka Doncic at Real.
The only real risk to avoid is incurring a serious injury, which can happen all the time, even on the playground with friends, but the chances of it happening are greatly raised if you play the entire EuroLega regular season, the entire French league regular season, and the entire French league playoffs. At Mets92 Wembanyama does not play cups and we do not know how far he will go in the postseason in France.
Performances around the world
These days we are talking about him because he has been a two-time phenom against Ignite, a G-League team. If he had stayed at ASVEL, he would not have been able to play such contests in early October, with the championship and EuroLeague already started. Because you don ’t move one person but the whole team. Of course he doesn ’t play these games for free, there is a significant economic return, probably even more than the salary that Tony Parker ’s team could have reclaimed from him on a monthly basis. So he doesn ’t even lose out economically.
The coach of Metropolitans 92 is Vincent Collet, an institution in France, regardless of what thoughts we Italians may or may not have about his coaching abilities. He has sat on the bench of the transalpine national team since 2009 and will remain there for a long time to come. Collet will also be the coach who will try to get the baby phenom ’s first medal around his neck next September in Asia, when the World which will take place between the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.
Family and friends
Although we treat him as if he were 40 years old, Victor Wembanyama is only 18 years old, 19 next January. He is originally from the Île-de-France region, right on the border of the Paris metropolitan area. Since childhood he has lived in Nanterre because he has been playing there since he was 10 years old. Being in Levallois-Perret, home of the Mets92, Wembanyama can live very close to his friends and family, being 10 minutes from Nanterre, while Villeurbanne, home of ASVEL, is a 4 1/2-hour drive from Le Chesnay. This aspect probably also affected his choice to leave the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region for the Parisian hinterland.
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