‘5 years in the abyss and now we’re back’ — San Antonio Spurs win historic NBA lottery pick
The San Antonio Spurs won the first overall pick in the 2023 NBA draft in Tuesday’s lottery.
After a disappointing season, this is a major victory for Coach Gregg Popovich’s team.
The first pick in next month’s draft is a prize many teams were after in order to land the top prospect in a generation: Victor Wembanyama.
Wembanyama, a 7-foot-4 center from France, is the most heralded player to enter the draft since LeBron James.
The last time the Spurs drafted #1, they selected Tim Duncan in 1997. They won five NBA championships with teams that featured international talent, including Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginóbili.
The Spurs made the playoffs every year of Duncan’s career from 1997 to 2016 and have since struggled.
After hearing news of the first pick, Spurs fans were heard honking from their cars in downtown San Antonio, and many took to Twitter to celebrate.
FIVE YEARS IN THE ABYSS— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) May 17, 2023
AND NOW WE’RE BACK
In an interview with ESPN Tuesday evening, Wembanyama said Spurs fans should know he is a team player. Spurs teams under Popovich — the winningest coach in NBA history — have been known for a brand of team basketball that has not been seen since Duncan’s retirement.
“I’m ready to win a ring ASAP so be ready,” Wembanyama said in a message to Spurs fans. "I love Texas. I've been there before. I'm really happy and I really can't wait to meet the fans and hopefully the team I'm about to join in June."
When asked about finding out he’ll be following in the footsteps of Spurs greats Tim Duncan and David Robinson — as well as French countrymen Tony Parker and Boris Diaw — Wembanyama said, “It’s a really special moment I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.”
The NBA draft will take place on June 22 at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.
The San Antonio way 🥳🚘#NBADraftLottery | @Ticketmaster pic.twitter.com/4nEugG1CsL— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) May 17, 2023