For Neo to become the one, he needed time and training. But that training did not just come from Morpheus. The knowledge and skills that ultimately led Neo to realize his potential stemmed from a diverse crew of instructors. Tim Duncan is obviously Trinity in this scenario, but the most instrumental piece is Victor Wembanyama. Wemby will have a chance to learn from the best in a quest to be The One.
Spurs fans are fortunate to have head coach Gregg Popovich at the helm to begin the Wembanyama experience. Pop is known to start from square one with the fundamentals. When you are a naturally gifted athlete, the basics can get away from you, but they are the foundation of every great player and a key to longevity. The lessons the Big Three can teach Wembanyama are vast with the amount of experience they share.
Tony Parker was the engine of the team for many years. As a lightning-quick ballhandler and elite finisher, Tony had to learn to play with pace and navigate the paint. Parker's understanding of how to control the game with the ball in his hands will be invaluable to a prospect with high expectations of making an immediate impact for San Antonio.
Wembanyama and Parker already have a French connection. There is even a photo of a young Wemby in a Tony Parker jersey circulating the internet, so he should have no trouble establishing a rapport with the Hall-of-Fame guard. The Parisian phenom has sufficient ballhandling skills. Learning from the Spurs' all-time orchestrator is a great idea.
Manu Ginobili was the NBA equivalent of a gladiator, a dynamo who threw his body in harm's way at any cost if it meant giving his team an upper hand. Ginobili was born to make plays and take chances, but the Argentinian swingman always took calculated risks. His feel for the game is something you cannot learn, but he can teach Wemby a willingness to trust his instincts.
Wembanyama can absorb many things from the Ginobili, but none will be more crucial than understanding one's place on their team. As the poster child for swallowing your pride, no one is more qualified to educate young players on the significance of sacrificing for your team. The San Antonio Spurs do not win five championships without Ginobili placing his ego to the side.
Any member of the Spurs media could wax poetic all day and night about the contributions of Timothy Theodore Duncan. But a couple of things, in particular, were crucial to the success of the Spurs during the Big Three era. The first thing would be coachability; even after learning all the basics, you never stop practicing them. Players often cannot see the forest through the trees, so Wemby must trust his coaches. Even more so during games.
The second lesson Duncan could impart to Wemby is the mindset of a constant journey. No matter how much he achieved, Timmy never stopped working on his craft. His motions stayed the same throughout his illustrious 19-year career, and that discipline was why his bank shot was so damn perfect. The moment you think you have arrived, you stop growing. If Wembanyama learns these lessons, he will choose the red pill, and everyone will see how deep the rabbit hole goes.