DPOY conversations take unexpected turn and tempt history

The latest odds for Defensive Player of the Year have made an interesting shift, putting Victor Wembanyama at number two on the list.
John Collins, Victor Wembanyama
John Collins, Victor Wembanyama / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

The NBA has had many new beginnings in its storied history as new players come in with improved skill sets, attributes, and physical traits. When Michael Jordan began terrorizing the league, it was the start of something new. When LeBron James became a professional basketball player, the NBA found a new energy. Steph Curry's emergence reset the landscape of the sport, and fans saw things they had never seen before.

Victor Wembanyama is the latest to step into a league ready for the sighting of the next phoenix set to rise out of nowhere, and nowhere is exactly where the San Antonio Spurs have been the past few seasons, adding to the myriad of reasons it was always the perfect pairing. All of the aforementioned players challenged the record books in ways fans had never seen, and Wembanyama is doing the same.

Greatest defender of all time is on the table for Victor Wembanyama

One of the most common jokes when an athlete puts up absurd statistics is, "Those are video numbers." Generally, those cracks are made when discussing offensive output. The defensive stats that Victor is posting are outrageously good. His impact on that side of the floor is undeniable. He engulfs opposing offenses, forcefully denying actions, baskets, and passes in a league filled with talented offensive players.

The conversation has shifted from this notion being an impossibility to being impossible not to consider. No rookie has ever won Defensive Player of the Year. Rudy Gobert will likely win it this year to continue that trend. The Timberwolves are first in the Western Conference, have the best-rated defense in the league, and Gobert is the driving force on that side of the court. Despite that, coming in second would still be unheard of, laying the groundwork for Wemby to be the greatest defender the NBA has ever seen.