NBA: Lottery fortune helping Spurs cash in already
Tony Parker shared a photo of fellow Frenchman Victor Wembanyama in his early teens, wearing a San Antonio Spurs jersey, and a note of congratulations that applied to either side of the NBA Draft lottery celebration on Tuesday night.
The Spurs, one of three teams with a 14 percent chance to win the No. 1 pick, came out the big winners in what many forecast as a monumental victory due to projections for the 7-foot-5 Wembanyama’s career.
“I might faint, I’m so excited,” Spurs managing partner Peter J. Holt said Tuesday night on the live broadcast as sportsbars and streets downtown erupted in celebration. “The city of San Antonio, our fans, we just have so many people that love the Spurs. We’re pumped.”
The Spurs lost 60 games last season and stretched their playoff drought to four years. Is a savior on the way?
— Tony Parker (@tonyparker) May 17, 2023
Current NBA All-Stars, from Giannis Antetokounmpo to Stephen Curry and LeBron James, and most gainfully employed talent evaluators view the unique skilled 19-year-old as a transcendent talent.
“There’s a special relation between France and the Spurs because of Tony (Parker) of course, and also Boris (Diaw),” Wembanyama said. “I know half of the country, if not the whole country, wanted the Spurs to have the first pick. So I was looking at everyone and everyone was happy, so I was too.
“Not to brag about it, but I knew what was going to happen and I actually recorded myself saying it this morning walking to practice. So yeah, the universe told me. Dreams, feelings, it happens sometimes, but it’s never wrong, it’s always right.”
San Antonio has scored big already, with the ticket office taking more than 2,000 season ticket orders in the hours after the lottery ended.
The Spurs know a thing or two about scoring big with the No. 1 pick and unique talents, too. The last two times San Antonio picked first, they chose David Robinson (1987) and Tim Duncan (1997).
“I’m excited for the city, for the franchise,” Spurs GM Brian Wright said. “(The lottery) was a great start. It’s the beginning, not the end. There is still a lot of work to do.”