As soon as the excitement subsided around the designation of the NBA franchise that will host the prodigy Victor Wembanyama this summer, the San Antonio Spurs in this case, a question torments us all. Not that of knowing what the stick insect from Chesnay, in the Yvelines, will be able to bring to the Texan team – on this it seems certain that the answer is: happiness, a LOT of happiness – but quite the opposite.
Is a team made up mostly of players under the age of 25, beautiful last in the Western Conference at the end of the regular season (with 26.82% of victories) and which has no longer seen the color of the play -offs since the 2018-2019 season, can be the ideal place to launch your NBA career? On the player’s side, a priori, we don’t have too many doubts about it. All you had to do was watch the kid’s facial expressions as the names of the franchises he didn’t feel were scrolling by, and the smile which was his when that of the Spurs and appeared in first position in the Draft.
“I said it, I said it! “, he repeated in front of the giant screen installed Tuesday evening in the shop of his sponsor on the Champs-Elysées, before raising his arms to the sky. So, studio actor or sincere joy? According some knowledgeable sources on the side of the NBA, the boy secretly hoped to land in the former stronghold of Tony Parker. “I saw teams go six, five, four, three, two (the teams that preceded Spurs in the lottery result) and I was happy to see them go! “, he confirmed with our colleagues from beIN SPORTS.
San Antonio, home of the French in the NBA
We can therefore already assume that if the player supposed to revolutionize basketball is satisfied with the choice of Spurs, it is because he thinks he can do two or three things that are not too gross. Tuesday evening, in the wake of the lottery, he already announced the color at the microphone of ESPN: “I will do everything to win as many matches as I can and to get a ring as soon as possible. Be ready ! “.
Having not seen the Spurs play much in recent years (our honesty will lose us sooner or later), we preferred to give the floor to a real specialist, Ian Mahinmi, drafted by San Antonio in 2005 and today consultant for beIN SPORTS . For him, this franchise is “the best possible destination” for Wembanyama.
“For two main reasons,” he says. The first is the historically strong link between San Antonio and the French, and more generally between San Antonio and foreign players. It is by far the team that has welcomed the most international players to the NBA, there is an open-mindedness there, a welcoming spirit, which is part of their DNA. The pressure, especially from the media, when you are number 1 in the Draft, you have it no matter what, especially when you are Wembanyama and you carry all the expectations of a League, of a country. But the climate of the city and the club is ideal in my opinion. That should make it easier to adapt. »
A whole workforce to be built around “Wemby”
And the second ? The know-how if one were to summarize the thinking of the former NBA player. “It’s a franchise led by Gregg Popovich, one of the most successful coaches in NBA history, with a staff and a management team who know how to manage and grow their first draft picks. They have already done it twice, with David Robinson (1987) and Tim Duncan (1997), two players around whom they have been able to build dynasties. What is super interesting is that not only do they have the recipe, but they were able to duplicate it in the past, after Robinson, with Duncan. Nevertheless, the Spurs will have to work intelligently this summer to build a solid, complete and ambitious collective if they hope to quickly find the heights of a Western conference at the incredibly hairy level.
Because if some young people have shown encouraging signs this season, we think in particular of Keldon Johnson (23), who has averaged 22 points, 5 rebounds and 4.2 assists this season, or Devin Vassell (18.5 points , 3.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists), it will certainly be necessary to bring weight and experience to the workforce to channel the ardor of youth and best support Wembanyama. “If there is a coach and an ideal staff to develop the best strategy around Wembanyama, for me it is Gregg Popovich and his team, assures Mahinmi. Everything is in place to build a talented and complementary team in order to be very, very quickly competitive”. We only ask to believe it.
Source: 20Minutes – Une by www.20minutes.fr.
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