Jabari Smith Jr Didn't Appreciate Victor Wembanyama Clearly Celebrating He Wasn't Going To Houston Which Means The Spurs/Rockets Rivalry Is Back On
Now that the dust has settled on the Draft Lottery and we know that Victor Wembanyama is going to be the next great Spur, we can shift our attention to much more important things like random NBA player beefs.
One of the more obvious parts of last night was the fact that it became crystal clear that Wemby wanted no part of joining the Houston Rockets. When their envelope came out and we saw that all their losing resulted in the 4th pick, while many of us were maybe shocked, Wemby was pumped
We know that he and the entire country of France was hoping the Spurs would win the Lottery, and who knows why he didn't want to go to Houston. Maybe he isn't a fan of the hiring of their new head coach. Maybe he doesn't love how the organization is ran. Maybe he thinks all the players stink and that's why he wanted nothing to do with them. Only Wembanyama knows for sure.
I do think it's fair to say that in a blink of an eye though that Wemby went from the most wanted to the most hated in the eyes of the Rockets and their fans. How do we know this? Simple.
Now this is what I'm talking about. Last year's #3 pick busting out the notes emoji.
is the exact type of NBA in 2023 spice we deserve as fans. I know it maybe hasn't been this way for a while, but let's not forget that Rockets/Spurs is historically one of the most bitter rivalries in the league. They play in the same division, they aren't too far from one another, and it even has its own name (I-10 Rivalry). This is a beef that dates back all the way to 1976 and has had some incredible clashes over the years. There were playoff battles in the 80s, there was the Hakeem vs Robinson 1995 Playoff battle, the T-Mac moment in 2004
And most recently, their 2017 playoff series which was their first playoff meeting since '95, which the Spurs won in 6.
The point is, these two having beef with one another is good for the NBA. Now things may be a little less intense as both the current Rockets and current Spurs will be fighting like hell just to make the Play In Tournament next year, but I am all for guys talking shit and having that bad blood. We need more of that in today's NBA if you ask me. So if that has to come from someone like Jabari Smith Jr, so be it. It's not like he had a terrible rookie year where he looks like a bust or anything. He was pretty damn good!
Things really started to look promising after the All Star Break, where Jabari put up 14.6/7.6/1.5 on 44/32% splits with 1.3 3PM a night. Not bad for a 20 year old.
At the same time, you probably should be careful when we're talking about the best prospect maybe ever. To me, that doesn't seem like a guy you want to make mad or give extra motivation to. Maybe this turns into an epic battle between the two players and everything is awesome. That's certainly possible. At the same time, it's also possible that Wemby goes full MJ and takes it personal, vows to bury Jabari Smith Jr and the Rockets every chance he gets, and then he goes out and does it. That would be a double whammy for Rockets fans. You didn't just miss out on the guy, but now he is ruining your life for the next 10+ years.
Something tells me whatever date the first meeting between these two teams ends up being is going to be must watch stuff. I can't believe I just said that about the 22-60 Rockets and the 22-60 Spurs, but that's simply the power of Wemby.