Wembanyama on the current state of the Spurs: 'I'm not worried.'


Projected first-overall pick Victor Wembanyama expressed his excitement to land in San Antonio during an exclusive interview with Rémi Reverchon of beIN SPORTS France following the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery. The 7-foot-5 phenom spoke highly about his future team, leaving no doubt the Spurs were his preferred destination all along.

"Now that it's over, I can say that I've seen teams go by, and I was happy to see them go by. I'm happy with the result, there is a lot of emotions."

Those feelings were evident from the Frenchman's reaction to teams like the Rockets missing out on the first-overall pick. While Spurs executives skirted around openly saying they would select the generational talent, Wembanyama was direct about where he would end up come June 22nd. Reverchon even asked the 19-year-old what he was looking forward to from San Antonio.

"What San Antonio evokes in me is a solid and faithful fanbase despite the ups and downs, especially a history and a culture of winning like nowhere else."

Wembanyama was soon asked about the "state of the franchise" in San Antonio, expressing his excitement to learn under longtime Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

"It would be an honor for sure. From what I've heard, [Gregg Popovich] is demanding, but one thing I know for sure is that he's good, and until proven otherwise he has more experience than I do. If I have the chance to be coached by Pop it will be with a lot of humility and excitement too."

Wembanyama worked under current French national team coach Vincent Collet during his time with Metropolitans 92. Collet has even coached many former Spurs, including Tony Parker and Boris Diaw, who each have connections to the towering big man.

While Wembanyama will join a Spurs team that only won 22 games this season and missed the playoffs for a fourth consecutive year, he isn't concerned about the franchise taking a long time to turn around.

"In the NBA, in basketball in general but especially in the NBA, we see teams from the bottom of the league from one year to the next go from playoff level to the conference finals... In the NBA with the speed of trades and team construction, I have no worries. What's important is that the structure and culture [in San Antonio] is strong."

There have been widespread reports since the lottery that San Antonio is where Victor Wembanyama and his camp wanted to land to maximize his potential. From saying it would be an honor to play for Popovich to touting the team culture, Spurs fans aren't the only ones looking forward to watching the most exciting draft prospect since LeBron James wear Silver and Black.

Reverchon: "Last thing Victor, are you happy tonight?"

Wembanyama: "Yeah, very happy."

Credit to u/BIGVY5 on the NBASpurs subreddit for all translations.

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