From Victor to Victorious
Generational talent is on its way to south Texas again. The San Antonio Spurs won the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night, securing the right to select Victor Wembanyama, the 7-foot-4 French phenom long considered the top prospect in the upcoming draft.
With a record of 22-60 in 2023, the Spurs finished in a tie with Houston for the second-worst record in the league, better only than the Detroit Pistons at 17-65. (Thankfully, a great game day experience and meaningful outreach seem to balance that out in the eyes of fans.) The bottom three teams in the NBA have a 14 percent chance of winning the top pick in the lottery each year.
San Antonio will thus have the first choice in the draft for the third time in franchise history. The club has not missed in making its previous No. 1 selections, taking two other 7-footers who became NBA Hall-of-Famers: David Robinson in 1987 and Tim Duncan in 1999. Each would win multiple NBA titles with the club and form the cornerstones of a dynasty for a decade-plus after Duncan’s arrival.
The Spurs also have had a history of success with French players, most notably Tony Parker — their first-round pick in 2001, and another member of the NBA Hall of Fame and that championship dynasty. Parker now owns the French professional team that Wembanyama has played for during the last three seasons.
Greg Popovich, the coach who has presided over all five Spurs championships, is still at the helm in San Antonio. In Wembanyama, he now has a new centerpiece to build his team around.
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