Spurs’ Victor Wembanyama is making history so often that he’s practically breaking it

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How often should even an elite NBA player make history?

Maybe once per season?

More during an MVP or championship run?

Sure, there are players like LeBron James who claim records on a practically nightly basis by virtue of their durability as much as their greatness, but mere mortals should feel lucky to enter the history books once in a career, much less once in a season.


On a related note, Victor Wembanyama finished Sunday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets with 33 points, 15 rebounds, seven blocks and seven assists.

Before he did it, that stat line had been achieved three times in NBA history, according to Stathead: by a 23-year-old Joel Embiid, a 27-year-old Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and a 33-year-old Abdul-Jabbar.

Here’s your daily reminder that the Spurs rookie is only 20.

He just did something in his 60th NBA game that only two other players have ever done in their entire careers.

And here’s the thing… that’s happening all of the time. Don’t believe me?

Follow me on a guided tour of the last month of Wembanyama’s rookie season:

On March 3, Wembanyama finished a win over the Indiana Pacers with 31 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and six blocks. In other words, he had a slightly worse version of the game he had on Sunday. The total list of players who have ever done that? Embiid (twice), Abdul-Jabbar (10 times), David Robinson (five times), Hakeem Olajuwon (three times), Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis and Charles Barkley.
On Feb. 29, Wembanyama finished a victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder with seven assists, five 3-pointers and five blocks. Nobody’s done that. Ever. In all of recorded basketball history, the first person to reach those specific milestones in a single game did so without being able to casually drink. There are only even three other members of the five-five-five club: Robert Horry, Walt Williams and Donte Green.
On Feb. 23, Wembanyama posted a line of 27 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, five blocks and five steals in a loss against the Los Angeles Lakers. Only one other player has ever done that: a 27-year-old Olajuwon. Let’s also point out that this game was on the second night of a back-to-back. Hey, speaking of which…


On Feb. 22, the first night of that back-to-back, Wembanyama put up 19 points, 13 rebounds, five steals, five blocks and four assists. The full list of players to do that? Olajuwon (five times), Robinson and Jusuf Nurkic. If Wembanyama had finished that game with one more assist, he would have posted back-to-back games with at least five points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. That’s relevant because there are only 22 of those games in all of NBA history, and only two players have ever even done it twice in an entire career (Olajuwon and Andrei Kirilenko). Wembanyama almost became the third in a single back-to-back.

No player besides Wembanyama is on all of the lists we just touched on.

Most of the players we just covered are either in the Hall of Fame or eventually will be.

The nights we’re covering represent some of the high points of their entire career.


And Wembanyama is matching those nights at a younger age than any of them not just within his rookie season, but within a single monthlong stretch of that rookie year.


He’s played 10 games in that span. We just covered half of them.

This story started with the grand question of how often any single basketball player can be expected to make history.

Whether or not Wembanyama does so lately is basically a coin flip.

Typically, a story like this would end with some conclusion about where this going, but the entire point here is that we have no idea where it could be going because we’ve never seen anything like this before.

Wembanyama is making history so often that he’s starting to break it.

There’s no precedent for what is happening here.

We’re witnessing the beginning of a basketball career unlike any we’ve ever seen before.

Whatever reasonable expectation of history can reasonably be applied to a single player, Wembanyama has already exceeded it.


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