The sports and music worlds have been caught up in a wild saga in recent days after a security guard employed by the San Antonio Spurs allegedly slapped Britney Spears. According to Spears, she had approached NBA rookie Victor Wembanyama at the ARIA Hotel in order to try and get a picture with him. However, after tapping him on the shoulder, she was reportedly backhanded across the face by Damian Smith, the Spurs’ Director of Team Security. Additionally, a witness claimed to corroborate Spears’ story but also added that she was behaving somewhat erratically. According to Brian Grajales, Spears was speaking in a British accent while approaching Wembanyama. Furthermore, she screamed “That’s America for you! Fuck you all!” after Wembanyama was ushered inside the restaurant. Despite this, police in Las Vegas declined to file any charges in the case.
However, video of the incident also makes it clear why charges were not filed in the incident. Most importantly, Smith did not directly or intentionally slap Spears as claimed. Instead, Smith appears to knock Spears’ hand away from Wembanyama’s back. As a result, either his arm or her hand makes incidental contact with her face. However, it would be dishonest to call it a “backhand”. Furthermore, Spears was not knocked to the ground as she initially claimed. Additionally, Wembanyama was not being “swarmed” by fans at the time of the incident. At the moment Spears approached, there was three or four team personnel walking beside Wembanyama. However, the video makes it clear that there was no intentional malice and that the reports that Spears had been directly “slapped” were at best, exaggerated.
Spears Fans Troll Wembanyama
The feud somewhat continued during Wembanyama Spurs debut during the NBA Summer League on July 7. Wembanyama had 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 blocks in a 76-68 Spurs win. The French prospect was humble in his admission that he still has a long way to go. "I think the biggest improvement I've got to do is being ready and being ready to react to the plays called by the point guard and staying connected," he said. "I think there's a lot of conditioning to do," Wembanyama said. "Especially with our play style, we run a lot. It's really exhausting. Even though it was 40 minutes tonight, when I subbed out, I was always tired and exhausted. So I think there's a lot of conditioning to do," he added.
The performance lead to some relentless trolling on social media from Spears' fans. “Britney scoring in heels take notes victor wembanyama,” a Twitter user noted while posting a clip of Britney playing basketball on Ellen. “Retweet if you think Britney Spears could beat Victor Wembanyama in 1:1," said another while posting pictures of Spears playing in a celebrity basketball game. “Victor Wembanyama the walking twig got smacked and his reaction’s priceless. That Britney voodoo is real," added a third, referring to Wembanyama's struggles against more physical players. Wembanyama will next be in action against the Blazers on July 9.