Wemby on the Heat: “Their culture, it’s inspiring.”
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) February 8, 2024
There’s no doubt that Miami’s culture is something that’s respected across the NBA, and Wembanyama even is taking notice despite being in just his first season in the NBA.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft played well against Miami on Wednesday night, posting a double-double with 18 points (7-for-13 shooting from the field and 3-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc), 13 rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block.
The Heat and Spurs have already played both of their regular season matchups this season, so Wednesday was probably the last time that the Heat and their fans will get to see Wembanyama match up against Miami this season – especially with the Spurs unlikely to make the playoffs.
Miami’s culture is something that has been attractive to players in the past, as superstars like Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Jimmy Butler have chosen the franchise in free agency.
While Wembanyama has a long way to go before he reaches free agency, it’s possible that the impression the Heat’s culture has made on him could make him consider the team in free agency.
For now, the Heat are focused on making the most of the 2023-24 season after the team made the NBA Finals last season. Miami came up short against the Denver Nuggets, but the Heat are looking to get back to that spot this season.
After going through a rough patch near the end of January, the Heat have rebounded nicely as of late, winning back-to-back games to improve to 28-24 on the season. The team currently holds the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Wembanyama and the Spurs haven’t been as fortunate, ranking dead last in the Western Conference with a 10-41 record. They’ve lost five straight games after losing to the Heat on Wednesday.
Still, Wembanyama has a legit chance to win the league’s Rookie of the Year award for his play this season. The big man is averaging 20.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and an NBA-best 3.1 blocks per game while shooting 46.4 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from beyond the arc.