at the San Antonio Spurs, Victor Wembanyama takes over from Tony Parker

The joy of San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt after his team clinched the No. 1 NBA draft pick in Chicago on May 16, 2023.

A long time ago, part of Texas was French. More than three hundred years after René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle, who had established a colony on the Texas coast, a new Frenchman will make the American state his playground. By obtaining the winning combination in the draft lottery NBA, Tuesday May 16, the San Antonio Spurs won the first choice of the next draft. And there is no doubt that Tony Parker’s former team will use this golden ticket to select a new Frenchman: Victor Wembanyama.

“I could pass outreacted Peter Holt, the boss of the Texas franchise. It’s gonna be amazing. Our future was already bright, now it’s going to be breathtaking. » A few minutes earlier, he had jumped for joy when he realized that his team had obtained the first choice, hardly concealing his excitement. Twenty-six years after his father (Peter Holt senior), the leader will have the opportunity to choose first, on June 22, among the young players not yet belonging to the NBA, who will join his team. And it seems impossible for the Texan team to ignore the immense “Wemby” (2.19 meters), described as “most anticipated player in NBA history” by Adrian Wojnarowski, the league’s most influential journalist.

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“I am a team player, I will do everything to win as many games as possible. I wanna try to get a ring [de champion NBA] as soon as possible, so be prepared”reacted Victor Wembanyama hotly, questioned on the American sports channel ESPN from Paris, where the player of the Metropolitans 92 awaited the verdict of the lottery.

An outstanding player – his dimensions make him an interior, but with the fluidity of a much smaller player – the 19-year-old French international has been attracting the attention of the North American basketball league for years (he has started playing pro at the age of 15). And the first place in the draft has been assured to him for a long time.

Prior to 2023, the San Antonio Spurs had only twice won the draft lottery. Both times, the Texas team bet on a “big man”: in 1987, the Spurs selected the pivot David Robinson and, ten years later, the interior Tim Duncan. Nicknamed the Twin Towers, the two have since joined the Basketball Hall of Fame. Seven years after the retirement of the second, the Spurs are preparing to add a new skyscraper to their franchise, hoping that in turn it will allow them to reach the heights.

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