Victor Wembanyama, Spurs prep for increased media presence

Wemby on his rookie season: 'I know it's going to be a beautiful year' (1:48)

Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama discusses how he's prepared for his first season in the league and what he's looking forward to most in the NBA. (1:48)

SAN ANTONIO -- Victor Wembanyama took pictures with teammates, smiled, took some shots and took in the sights before his first NBA media day.

The attention around Wembanyama and the Spurs has grown since San Antonio last took the floor in April. It started during Wembanyama's first summer league practices, grew in Las Vegas and has continued into the fall.

Wembanyama is used to the attention but made it clear that he didn't think it would throw off his teammates once the season gets underway.

"They know I don't care about it," Wembanyama said on Monday morning. "I'm here to make sacrifices for them and I think when it's needed, they're also going to make sacrifices for me.

"And they know it's different. They know it's going to happen. Of course, there's going to be a lot of attention, but it's at the end of the day when everything is done and we're at practice and I'm like, 'Yeah, OK, what do we do to get this thing better?' So it's really stuff we don't care about. It's basketball first."

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said that he has talked to some of Wembanyama's teammates about the increased media presence that will follow Wembanyama this season.

"Because I know the players and because (Wembanyama) has such high character and he's used to it. This isn't the first time he's gotten attention," Popovich said. "I think just handling it organically is better than making decisions ahead of time."

After his much talked about summer league debut, Wembanyama vowed to take time off away from basketball and did just that, joking that he was successful in not having to speak with the media for months.

Wembanyama said he took time away that was able to restore him after he completed a full season in the French league, went through the draft process and then practicing and playing games in Las Vegas.

"I often like to think the best players are the ones who work the hardest, but you also need to know how to rest the hardest," Wembanyama said. "And I rested hard as hell for a couple weeks."

Wembanyama said once the rest was over, he returned to San Antonio to begin working out with his teammates and said he's been "working better than any other moment in my life."

"Harder but also smarter," Wembanyama added. "I think this offseason will make a difference not just for the upcoming season but the work we've done is going to impact my next few years."

Since he's been back in San Antonio, Wembanyama said he's added about 10 to 15 pounds of muscle to his frame while trying to maintain a good weight for his conditioning.

He also spent time on the floor with teammates as the Spurs have gathered as an entire roster for minicamps and scrimmages as well as team outings and dinners.

Spurs forward Jeremy Sochan, who is entering his second year with the franchise, said "it's going to be a lot of fun" to play alongside Wembanyama this season.

"I think he's just a freak of nature," Sochan said. "It's not a normal thing to see someone that tall, move like that and be that agile and be able to come out of nowhere and block a shot or dunk it from some weird place.

"He's done a bunch of stuff that's like 'Oh snap, that's crazy.' And then it's going to carry on this season, next season and as long as he plays, he's going to prove to people that he's special."

The Spurs played Wembanyama at the power forward and center positions during summer league and have a roster that could be very diverse around their No. 1 overall pick this upcoming season.

Some of that comes from deciding where Wembanyama will best fit as well and Popovich said training camp will be important to figuring that out.

"Is Wemby going to be a five? Is he going to be a four? Is going to be a three? Is he going to play alongside Zach (Collins) in the post? Is he a perimeter player? What is he? Who does he fit best with out there? What should the rotations be? A lot of really cool questions that we'll get to answer," Popovich said.