Quite literally seconds after the San Antonio Spurs drafted Victor Wembanyama with the No. 1 overall pick on Thursday night, Tony Parker had a prerecorded message queued up on a podcast from The Players' Tribune.
Wemby's fellow Frenchman encouraged the best NBA Draft prospect since LeBron James to embrace the legacy and tradition of excellence that's preceded him in San Antonio. And yes, that means to follow in the footsteps of legendary big men David Robinson and Tim Duncan to deliver a championship.
Wembanyama played this past season in France for the club Metropolitans 92. The season prior, he suited up for ASVEL Basket. Parker happens to be the majority owner of that team, and another prominent NBA vet Nicolas Batum is the director of basketball operations. So it's pretty safe to say Wemby has been in good hands as his path to the NBA unfolded.
Here's the key quote from Parker to Wembanyama that I'll transcribe in quickened haste:
"You said that you knew you were gonna go to the Spurs, so now it's happening. So now it's your turn to bring us a championship."
The previous ties to Tony Parker will only fuel the fire that the draft lottery was somehow rigged in San Antonio's favor. I feel like even when the Spurs were a perennial contender, they were boring as fuck. Some of that is the era they played in. But I don't think it's possible to be boring when Victor Wembanyama is the face of your franchise.
Gregg Popovich and Co. have a long way to go to build out the rest of this San Antonio roster. Quite a bit of competition in the West. Even with Wemby's brilliance, I feel like the Spurs will struggle to make it past the play-in tournament as they're currently constituted. However, the arrival of a generational talent could make San Antonio a much more attractive destination going forward.
Given how well Parker knows Wembanyama, it's pretty cool to see him come out and support him like this with such praise and encouraging him to embrace all the hype. Seems like Wemby isn't overly concerned about all the fanfare surrounding him. Just wants to hoop and be one of the all-time greats. Certainly has the ceiling to get there. The question might not be if Wembanyama winds up winning a championship, but rather how many he'll win.
Get yourself some brand-new Wemby merch if you will please.