NBA Draft: Spurs will first choose Frenchman Wembanyama in Parker’s footsteps

Victor Wembanyama in the footsteps of Tony Parker: the French prodigy will certainly make his big NBA debut at the San Antonio Spurs, who inherited the first choice in the draft lottery and should not fail to select him.

It was around 2:30 a.m. in Paris when Mark Tatum, vice-president of the NBA traditionally in charge of this mission, revealed the name of the happy franchise to the cameras.

Surrounded by his family and friends, including the star of Paris SG Kylian Mbappé, during an evening organized for this occasion, some images of which were simultaneously broadcast live on ESPN, “Wemby” attended, inevitably, with great interest to this very well-attended event across the Atlantic, which already seems to be making its way into the NBA, where it will make its debut in October, next season.

“I can’t really describe how I feel, my heart is racing. I have everyone I love around me, it’s a really special moment that I will remember all my life. I’m a player team, I will do everything to win as many matches as possible. I want to try to get a (champion) ring as soon as possible, so be ready”, he reacted hotly, at the microphone of the giant American media.

Bluffing by his ease in managing the enormous expectations around the young man that he is still 19 years old, in recent months, Wembanyama could not hide his emotion.


Admittedly, he will only officially know his destination in five weeks, during the annual high mass of the draft, organized on June 22 in Brooklyn. But that evening, his name will be spoken first by league commissioner Adam Silver, who will thus reveal the Spurs choice.

Because we can’t imagine them setting their sights on someone other than him, among the 60 “prospects” (hopes) from American universities, the G-League (minor league, antechamber of the NBA) and foreign championships, who will be selected one to one over two rounds, by the thirty franchises of the world’s highest championship. Fourteen teams – those having been eliminated from the race for the play-offs – were concerned by this lottery, resulting from a process mixing probability and chance, with for each a percentage of chances of being drawn first, determined by its balance sheet at the end of the past regular season. Spurs were part of the trio with an initial 14% chance, the maximum possible.

“I could pass out. I’m so excited. The city of San Antonio, our fans, we have so many people who love Spurs. We’re fired up,” said Peter J. Holt, president of Spurs. the Texas franchise, without obviously saying more. But his reaction left little doubt as to the nature of the jackpot won.

Because Wembanyama, very mobile, technical and agile despite his large size (2.21 m, 2.43 m wingspan), is a talent like you only see one in a generation, LeBron James himself going as far as to call him an “extra-terrestrial”. Which also makes him the probable N.1 of the most coveted draft since the superstar, who arrived in the NBA in this position in 2003 with the Cleveland Cavaliers jersey.

With Popovich

San Antonio and France is already a great love story in the world of the orange ball. Because 22 years ago, the Texas team selected a certain Tony Parker, in 28th position, with the success we know: four league titles out of the five that Spurs have.

“After all the history I had there, it would be huge”, agreed recently “TP”, who saw the phenomenon up close last season, when the latter was playing at Asvel, club which he owns, in the French Elite, before wearing the colors of Boulogne-Levallois.

“Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss ofof ofof of of of of of of of’sersers , reacted happily on Tuesday. Barring a huge surprise, which would then benefit the Charlotte Hornets from Michael Jordan having inherited the second choice, Wembanyama will therefore be taken in hand by Gregg Popovich, one of the best coaches in the history of basketball. A makeover for the 74-year-old veteran who obviously hopes to revive his franchise, having finished with one of the three worst records in the league this season.

At the time, “Coach Pop” knew how to do it with another glorious teammate of Parker, Tim Duncan, whom he had selected in the first position in the draft in 1997 and who then became one of the best interiors in history. .

Everything that the young Victor aspires to from the height of his 19 years, ready to launch an irresistible “Wembamania” in a few months in the NBA.

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