NBA writer unfair with disingenuous comparison for Wembanyama

The NBA released its winner for this season's Rookie Ladder, granting Victor Wembanyama the honor but a mention of his DPOY prospects is alarming.
Victor Wembanyama
Victor Wembanyama / Tyler Kaufman/GettyImages

Enough. Victor Wembanyama has been picked apart for why he should or should not be deserving of Defensive Player of the Year. The arguments for why he should be the winner of such a prestigious award are all rooted in his accomplishments, while his detractors seem to rely on misinformation or intentional aloofness.

His production on the defensive side of the floor is not just special for a rookie; it is all-time elite. He has done things this year that players who made a career out of defending have never achieved, such as his 10-block performance earlier this season.

In a recent NBA article celebrating Wembanyama's success this season as the number one ranked player for Rookie of the Week 16 out of 21 times, his prospects for DPOY were mentioned. The criticisms were severely lacking.

Comparisons to Tim Duncan and David Robinson's team success are off-base

To say that Defensive Player of the Year has nothing to do with wins is a bit duplicitous. If you go down the list of past winners, every one of them was on a successful team. The problem with that is rooted in numerous factors. No player younger than 23 has ever won this award and every one of those teams was stacked with talent.

David Robinson came onto a completely different roster in 1989 from the 1988 team. Rod Strickland, Maurice Cheeks, Sean Elliott and Terry Cummings were all new to the team that year; they played an integral part in the turnaround. Robinson was a grown man who was drafted two years prior and spent that time in the military, growing his body. That is a far cry from a kid who began the season as a 19-year-old on one of the worst teams in franchise history.

The Tim Duncan comparison is barely worth addressing but it's necessary. Everyone should know that the Spurs won a minimum of 55 games for three straight seasons before David Robinson's season-ending injury. The 20-game season came then, so when Tim Duncan arrived, he had a perennial all-star, one of the greatest players of all time, back by his side with an assortment of veterans to help with the process.

The oldest player on the Spurs roster is Cedi Osman. At the start of the season, that mantle was held by Doug McDermott. To act like all things are for Victor Wembanyama as they were for David and Tim is outrageous. No previous DPOY winner has had their numbers dwarfed by another contestant in the fashion that the number one overall pick has done to the other candidates.

Let's be real. Wembanyama is playing on the youngest team in the league. There is bound to be a ton of inconsistency and it showed up throughout the entire season on both sides of the ball. The constant has been Victor. His defense has been world-dominating and he deserves to win the award based on his historic impact.