‘That kid is SPECIAL’: Victor Wembanyama posts rare ‘5x5’ stat line, making NBA history

Victor Wembanyama made NBA history on Friday evening, joining an exclusive club by posting a ‘5x5’ stat line.

The French rookie filled up the box score during his San Antonio Spurs’ 123-118 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers, finishing with 27 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 steals and 5 blocks in just 31 minutes.

He became the 15th player to log a ‘5x5’ stat line – where players record at least five points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks in a single game – and Wembanyama became the youngest to achieve the feat.

According to the NBA, the star rookie, at 20 years and 50 days old, broke the previous record of 22 years and 288 days set by Andrei Kirilenko since the league began tracking steals and blocks in 1973-74.

Wembanyama is seen as the future of the NBA and on Friday night, he faced off against one of the greats of the league in LeBron James.

Although James had the final word with the victory – in part due to his 30 points – the 39-year-old was like many of us, in awe of Wembanyama’s abilities on the basketball court.

“That kid is SPECIAL!!” he wrote on X – formerly known as Twitter – accompanied with an alien emoji.

James called Wembanyama an alien before he was drafted last year, referring to his unique combination of ball-handling abilities and frame – he stands at seven foot and four inches tall.

His rare skillset has seen him touted as a future NBA superstar, and he’s enjoyed an excellent rookie season, despite the Spurs not recording many victories.

He leads all rookies in points, rebounds, steals and blocks. He also leads the NBA in blocks.

Victor Wembanyama dunks the ball during the game against the Lakers. - Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
Victor Wembanyama dunks the ball during the game against the Lakers. - Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

James expanded on Wembanyama’s potential in the NBA after Friday’s game.

“He doesn’t have a ceiling,” James told reporters, per the NBA’s official website. “He can do whatever he wants to do in his career. It seems like he enjoys the game. It seems like he puts the work in, just from the outside looking in.

“I said a long time ago how special he was, and it’s really that simple.”

Wembanyama’s ‘5x5’ comes a day after he fell one assist shy of the mark on Thursday against the Sacramento Kings.

On Friday against the Lakers, he reached the mark in just 30 minutes, 55 seconds – the smallest amount of playing time needed to reach a ‘5×5’ stat line in NBA history.

It is the first ‘5x5’ stat line achieved since Jusuf Nurkic totalled 24 points, 23 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 blocks and 5 steals for the Portland Trail Blazers against the Sacramento Kings on New Year’s Day in 2019.

Wembanyama also joined more elite company with his achievement, joining Michael Jordan as the only players to get at least five steals and five blocks in consecutive games.

However, the first-year player couldn’t appreciate the moment given the result his team had just suffered.

“I wonder if (Jordan) did it in wins, not losses,” Wembanyama told reporters, per the NBA’s official website. “To me, it’s secondary. Hopefully in the future we can look back and see this as a good performance, but as of today, I can’t be satisfied in a loss.”

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