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NBA: Victor Wembanyama Fined $25,000 For Celebratory Ball Toss After Win vs New York Knicks – News18

NBA: Victor Wembanyama Fined $25,000 For Celebratory Ball Toss After Win vs New York Knicks – News18


Published By: Siddarth Sriram

Last Updated:

United States of America (USA)

Victor Wembanyama in action for Spurs against the Raptors (Credit: AP)

Wembanyama, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft, is the consensus favorite to win rookie of the year. He is averaging 21 points and 10.5 rebounds this season.

Victor Wembanyama’s celebratory tossing of a basketball into the stands was costly.

The NBA fined the San Antonio rookie $25,000 on Sunday for the act, which came at the end of Friday’s 130-126 overtime win for the Spurs over the New York Knicks.

Wembanyama caught a long pass for a steal on the game’s final play, wrapped his arms around the ball, high-fived a courtside fan and then tossed the ball a few rows into the crowd.

He had 40 points, 20 rebounds and seven assists in the game. It was the first such stat line by an NBA rookie since 1974 and only the fifth game with that many points, rebounds and assists in the last 46 years.

Wembanyama, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft, is the consensus favorite to win rookie of the year. He is averaging 21 points and 10.5 rebounds this season.

Wembanyama made a 3-pointer to give San Antonio a four-point lead in OT. He had the first 40-point, 20-rebound game by a rookie since Shaquille O’Neal had 46 points and 21 rebounds on Feb. 16, 1993. The No. 1 pick in the draft also had a blocked shot and a steal while collecting his 39th double-double in 65 games.

“I’ve never seen so much greatness before,” Wembanyama said. “The season has been going on for just some months. I’ve just witnessed so much greatness and I want to be a part of it. I always wanted to, but more and more seeing that I’m already able to compete with those guys. I’m not near, but I’m on the right path. I know it and I’m going to get there and soon.”

Brunson finished one point shy of Carmelo Anthony’s franchise record of 62 points on Jan. 24, 2014, missing a 3-pointer that would have given the Knicks the lead with 5.4 seconds remaining in OT.

“It’s great, but it’s washed out with the window with the loss,” Brunson said. “So, it doesn’t really matter.”

Brunson had the fifth-highest point total in the NBA this season.

“He’s special,” Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo said. “I think he’s an All-NBA talent. Even if we didn’t come away with the win tonight, I think what he did tonight showed you that he’s one of the best guards in the East. Every single night, whatever it takes to win, he does that. Tonight, it was almost.”

After stealing the ball in the final seconds to seal the victory, Wembanyama let out a huge scream in celebration and threw the ball into the stands. Will he pay for the souvenir?

“Nah,” Wembanyama said, laughing afterward. “Somebody else is going to.”

As they should, considering Wembanyama’s contributions in leading the Spurs to their first three-game winning streak of the season.

“He’s going to be one of the greatest players this game has seen,” Brunson said. “Just the way he’s built. What he’s been able to do so far. I have a lot of respect for him.”

Devin Vasell added 23 points for the Spurs (18-56), who are three victories from surpassing the worst record in franchise history of 20-62 set in 1997.

New York took its first lead at 113-112 with 4:39 remaining in regulation on a 3-pointer by DiVincenzo. There were five ties in the final minutes of regulation to set up overtime.

DiVincenzo finished with 20 points and set the Knicks’ single-season record for 3-pointers with 245.

New York (44-29) fell a half-game behind Cleveland (45-29) for third in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 117-114 on Friday.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Associated Press)



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