Spurs star Victor Wembanyama gets painfully honest on $25,000 fine for throwing ball vs. Knicks

Wemby’s bank account took a hit, but the Spurs rookie is taking it in stride

San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama

San Antonio Spurs rookie center Victor Wembanyama hasn’t been able to escape the spotlight ever since the Wemby Sweepstakes kicked off some time around October 2022. But in his extended stay in the spotlight, the 20-year-old Rookie of the Year frontrunner has done nothing but impress at every turn. He’s avoided poor performances and off-the-court issues like so many opponents attempt — and typically fail — to avoid getting their shot blocked by Wemby on their way to the basket. But for the first time in his career, Wembanyama is encountering just a taste of pushback in the form of a $25,000 fine for throwing a ball into the stands following a Spurs overtime win.

On Sunday night, Wembanyama addressed the fine following the Spurs 117-113 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

“I remember players being fined for this, but they always threw it in a bad way,” Wembanyama said on Sunday night, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. “I threw it to…please somebody. It’s not like I was trying to hurt anybody.”

Wemby is right, and thus far I haven’t seen anybody assert that Wemby tossed the ball into the stands with any sort of malicious intent, which is pretty surprising given today’s climate of hot takes and clickbait. I figured I’d stumble upon at least one person who insisted that Wemby endangered the fans in the stands by throwing the ball into the crowd, and that a $25,000 fine was simply not a strong enough penalty. Fortunately for all of us, that’s not the case. But unfortunately for Victor Wembanyama, the NBA doesn’t provide room for much grey area when they’re enforcing their rules. It’s pretty black and white. Either you threw the ball into the stands, or you didn’t. And if you did, you’re getting fined. It’s silly, but expected.

The Great 60-Point Ball Debate

Back in December, when Indiana Pacers rookie Oscar Tshiebwe attempted to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 64 point ball, it nearly caused a melee in Milwaukee. But Tshiebwe had scored his first career NBA points, so the expectation on the Pacers end was that he would be able to keep the game ball. Giannis had other ideas, and briefly, it looked as if the Greek Freak might turn into the Incredible Hulk.

The closer, the better for Victor Wembanyama - Pounding The Rock

Much like Giannis’ 64-point game, 61 points were a career high for Jalen Brunson, but in my opinion, Wemby had every right to do whatever he wanted with that ball given the game he had against the Knicks. Wembanyama scored a career-best 40 points and pulled down 20 rebounds, which matched a career high. He became the first rookie since Shaquille O’Neal to have a 40-20 game, which is far rarer than a 60-point game, especially in this particular season, where so many guys have already hit the 60-point mark.

With all of that said, it’s entirely possible given the rapid development of the Spurs prized rookie that games with 40 points and 20 rebounds will soon become just an average night of work for Victor Wembanyama.

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