When Britney Spears burst onto the national stage in 1999 with “Baby One More Time,” French NBA superstar Victor Wembanyama wasn’t alive. Nor had he been born for 2000’s hit single “Oops!…I Did It Again” or 2003’s “Toxic.” Wembanyama, 19, wasn’t born until January of 2004, so it is entirely possible that when 41-year-old Spears approached him in Las Vegas ahead of his professional debut in the NBA’s Summer League on Friday evening, the San Antonio Spurs rookie didn’t even know who she was.
If what Spears says is accurate, Wembanyama’s security team was also unaware of the pop singer’s identity as she alleges a member of the rookie’s entourage “back-handed me in the face without looking back, in front of a crowd, nearly knocking me down and causing my glasses [to fall] off my face” after she tapped him on the shoulder. Spears, who filed a report with Las Vegas police, called the run-in “super embarrassing” and said she was only trying to congratulate Wembanyama on his success.
Given that Wembanyama is 7′ 5″ and Spears is 5′ 4,” it’s a bit hard to believe she was able to tap his shoulder and a bit easier to trust his explanation that a person “grabbed me from behind” before “security pushed her away.” It’s also not difficult to believe that he didn’t know it was Spears. “I thought it was no big deal, and then security of the Spurs told me it was Britney Spears,” Wembanyama said, per The Associated Press. “At first, I was like, ‘You’re joking,’ but yeah, it turns out it was Britney Spears. I never saw her face. I just kept walking straight.”
Whatever happened in Las Vegas between Spears and Wembanyama, NBA fans don’t really seem to care as the demand for tickets to watch him take the court for the first time is almost as high as the rangy rookie’s shoulder.
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With a capacity of 17,500 seats, UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center was completely sold out by Wednesday ahead of Wembanyama’s pro debut in the NBA and seats are no longer available on the primary market, according to Front Office Sports. Get-in-the-door tickets are starting at over $100 on the resale market to see the No. 1 overall pick take the floor for the Spurs against Charlotte and No. 2 pick Brandon Miller and courtside seats for the game are heading toward $1,200 each as demand grows, per FOS.
The average cost to get in to see Wemby tops $86 average price that was set on opening night in 2019 when Zion Williamson made his debut for the New Orleans Pelicans and this is just the fifth time a Summer League game in Las Vegas has sold out, according to the NBA. “It’s going to be intense,” Wembanyama said. “I can’t wait to wear that Spurs jersey for a first time.”
And NBA fans can’t wait to watch it — regardless of what happened with Spears.