The dark cloud that has stormed on the San Antonio Spurs over the past five seasons has finally revealed its silver lining. A 19 year old, seven foot tall silver lining.
Spurs’ center Victor Wembanyama has lived up to the hype and exceeded most peoples expectations in his first year in the league. He’s averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds on 28 minutes per game.
Regardless of the Spurs success as a team, Wembanyama is the frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year award and without a doubt deserves it if he keeps up this pace. But what is a surprise for the first overall pick is that he is currently top five in odds to win the Defensive Player of the Year award.
“Vic is a very special player,” New Orleans Pelicans’ forward Zion Williamson said in the He’s a dude that can get two or three Defensive Player of the Years and also, I don’t want to put a limit on it, but he can get Defensive Player of the Year and MVPs.”
ROY & DPOY?
Now let’s put this historic rookie season of Wemby’s in perspective. When Rudy Gobert won the DPOY in 2018, he finished the season with 44 steals and 129 blocks. Through only 42 games, Wembanyama has recorded 47 steals and 134 blocks. He also leads the league in blocks with 3.1 per game.
No rookie has won DPOY in the history of the league, so even being in the conversation shows how much of an impact he’s made already.
“We haven’t seen nothing like that. We’ve seen things close, but not like that,” Williamson continued. “He’s an amazing player. Especially with (Spurs head coach Greg Popovich) over there, he’ll continue to develop.”
Wemby has some large footsteps to follow.
It does feel a bit like deja vu. Another No 1. pick for Coach Pop after a successful year of tanking. But for some reason, this time around feels more special.
When power forward Tim Duncan was selected by the Spurs, there was zero banners hung up in San Antonio. The pressure for him to succeed was lower due to the attention his former MVP teammate David Robinson was receiving on the offensive end.
The hype that was built around Wembanyama prior to his draft day makes the anticipation to see him succeed even greater. In an ideal world, he is supposed to come in and take to Spurs back to the promised land while playing at an MVP level, particularly on the defensive end.
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