Wemby and Popovich Rookie Demanding Coaching

Wemby and Popovich Rookie Demanding Coaching



January 17th, 2024

Victor Wembanyama, the San Antonio Spurs' unicorn rookie, isn't afraid of a little tough love. In fact, he seems to thrive on it, especially when it comes from the legendary coach Gregg Popovich.

Following a recent loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Wemby put on a show with 26 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 blocks in 27 minutes. But instead of dwelling on the individual performance, Wemby  highlighted the value of Popovich's demanding coaching style.

"I like to be coached," Wemby declared. "I like to be threatened to be sent to the G League if I don't play the right way. I like when there are consequences to my mistakes."

Popovich, ever the demanding mentor, readily pointed out areas where Wemby has shown growth: "Probably in aggressiveness," Popovich emphasized.

 "Rolling to the bucket, attacking the rim, being that target. And the team has learned to trust him as an outlet, setting the tone for everyone."

Wembanyama's defensive development also drew praise from Pop:

 "Defensively, he's becoming a really good rim protector. Obviously, he's tall and long, but he's figuring out how to make that a priority. Everyone else has learned how to handle that by playing around him."

But Popovich isn't one to shy away from tough decisions. Trailing by 35 points at halftime against the Hawks, Pop benched Wemby and the regular starters in the second half. This stark message resonated with Wembanyama.

"He said we're being embarrassed," Wemby explained.

 "We had probably the worst first half we've had so far. That's why he changed the starting lineup. He wanted to put players he could trust to give one hundred percent and show us how we should've started the game."

Wembanyama even expressed appreciation for the insertion of Jeremy Sochan, another young player known for his energy and hustle. "He's been bringing that energy all game and he's been that example tonight," Wemby said.

The dynamic between Wemby and Popovich is both fascinating and instructive. It's a masterclass in how a demanding coach can push a young talent to reach his full potential. Wembanyama's willingness to embrace Pop's tough love could be the key to unlocking his immense potential and turning the Spurs into championship contenders in the years to come.

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img via: Getty Images

tag: Wemby , Popovich , Spurs

Klind Parangoni Author

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