As soon as the excitement subsides 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 nags us all. Not that of knowing what the phasme of Chesnay, in the Yvelines, will be able to bring to the Texas team - on this it seems certain that the answer is: happiness, BEAUCOOOOOOUP of happiness - but quite the opposite.

Can a team composed mostly of players under 25, last in the Western Conference at the end of the regular season (with 26.82% of wins) and who has not seen the color of the playoffs since the 2018-2019 season, be the ideal place to launch his career in the NBA? On the player's side, a priori, we do not have too many doubts about it. Just look at the kid's facial expressions as the names of the franchises he didn't smell scrolled by, and the smile that was his when the Spurs appeared first overall in the Draft.

"I said it, I said it!" he repeated in front of the giant screen installed Tuesday night in the shop of his sponsor on the Champs-Elysees, before raising his arms to the sky. So, actor studio or sincere joy? According to some well-informed sources on the NBA side, the boy secretly hoped to land in Tony Parker's former stronghold. "I've seen teams pass six, five, four, three, two (the teams that preceded Spurs in the lottery result) and I was happy to see them pass!" he confirmed to our colleagues at beIN SPORTS.

San Antonio, home of the French in the NBA

So we can already assume that if the player supposed to revolutionize basketball is satisfied with the choice of the Spurs, it is because he thinks he can do two, three things not too disgusting. Tuesday night, in the wake of the lottery, he already announced the color at the microphone of ESPN: "I will do everything to win as many games as I can and to win a ring as soon as possible. Be prepared! ».

Not having seen much Spurs play 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 now a 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 in the NBA, there is an open-mindedness, a welcoming spirit, which is part of their DNA. The pressure, especially in the media, when you're No. 1 in the Draft, you have it no matter what, especially when you're Wembanyama and you carry all the expectations of a league, a country, but the climate of the city and the club is ideal in my opinion. That should make it easier for him to adapt. »

A whole workforce to build around "Wemby"

And the second? The know-how if we had to summarize the thought of the former NBA player. "This is a franchise led by Gregg Popovich, one of the most successful coaches in NBA history, with a staff and management team that knows 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 built dynasties. What's super interesting is that not only do they have the recipe, but they have been able to duplicate it in the past, after Robinson, with Duncan. Still, the Spurs will have to work smartly this summer to build a solid, complete and ambitious collective if they hope to return to the top of an incredibly hairy Western Conference soon.

Because if some youngsters have shown encouraging signs this season, we think in particular of Keldon Johnson (23), who has averaged 22 points shooting, 5 rebounds and 4.2 assists this season, or Devin Vassell (18.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists), it will certainly bring weight and experience to the squad to channel the passion of youth and best accompany Wembanyama. "If there is an ideal coach and staff to develop the best strategy around Wembanyama, for me it is Gregg Popovich and his team," Mahinmi said. Everything is in place to build a talented and complementary team in order to be very, very competitive quickly." We just want to believe it.

  • Basketball
  • Sport
  • NBA
  • Victor Wembanyama
  • San Antonio Spurs