NBA

Wembanyama pleased to make a 'statement' with first NBA triple-double

By Sports Desk January 11, 2024

Victor Wembanyama was delighted to make a "statement" with his first NBA triple-double on Wednesday, having helped the San Antonio Spurs past the Detroit Pistons with a dominant display.

Last year's number one draft pick finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists at Little Caesars Arena as the Spurs ended a five-game losing streak with a 130-108 win over their struggling opponents.

In doing so, Wembanyama – at the age of 20 years and six days – became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double with no turnovers since turnovers were first tracked in 1977-78, surpassing Andre Iguodala, who did so aged 21 years and 54 days in 2005.

Wembanyama's achievement was made all the more impressive by the fact he played just 21 minutes and two seconds overall, the second-fewest minutes needed for a triple-double in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55).

The Frenchman was under a minute away from the outright record, with Russell Westbrook having recorded a triple-double in 20 minutes and 17 seconds for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2014, against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Speaking after the win, Wembanyama said of his landmark performance: "Doing it in a win is everything, of course. I didn't know it was the second-fastest in NBA history. 

"It matters to me. I'm not the type to talk for nothing. This is the kind of statement we want to make as a team, and this is the type of statement I want to make as a player."

The Pistons were one of the teams who had hoped to recruit Wembanyama, with Detroit having failed to secure the first overall draft pick despite finishing with the league's worst record last year.

Asked about Detroit's previous interest in him, Wembanyama said: "It's weird to imagine a different future and what could have been."

Detroit also have the worst record in the NBA this season, sitting at 3-35 after losing six straight games. Their current losing run started after a win over the Toronto Raptors in late December, which itself halted a joint-record 28-game losing streak.

Pistons coach Monty Williams was unimpressed after a poor first quarter set the tone for another disappointing outing, saying: "The focus and discipline wasn't there.

"There's nobody to look at other than me, not having guys ready to play."

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