Victor Wembanyama, 7-foot-4 Frenchman, taken by the San Antonio Spurs with the first pick in the NBA Draft


Victor Wembanyamaa 7-foot-4 French, who some NBA commentators believe could be a generational talent, was taken No. 1 by the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Draft on Thursday night.

The last two times five o’clock NBA champions have had the top pick, they also selected big men – David Robinson in 1987 and Tim Duncan in 1997. Both had Hall of Fame careers and earned championship rings.

Unlike many players his size, Wembanyama is not a prototypical NBA center. While the 19-year-old can be dominant on defense, he is able to dribble the ball like a point guard and shoot effectively from 3-point range.

“It’s a tough league,” Wembanyama said through tears after he was selected. “I will try to learn as fast as possible because I want to win that ring.”

Wembanyama said he had dreamed so much of hearing NBA commissioner Adam Silver call his name that he cried when the moment came.

Wembanyama played the past three seasons in France’s LNB Pro A, the country’s highest pro level, with the Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92. He led the league in scoring, rebounds and blocks en route to becoming the youngest regular season MVP in Pro A history .

In 34 regular season games with the Mets 92, he averaged 21.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 3.0 blocks per game.

He is one of the most touted teenagers to join the NBA since LeBron James was the top pick in the 2003 draft.

“Because of all the hype, he’s going to have a target on his back. So more than O’s and X’s, initially we’re going to be interested in setting the stage in an environment where he’s comfortable, where he can be Victor ,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said in a news conference about expectations for Wembanyama.

“He’s not LeBron (James) or Tim (Duncan) or Kobe (Bryant) or anybody else. He’s Victor and that’s who we want him to be.”

When asked what excites him about going to San Antonio, Wembanyama said: “Tacos for breakfast. I have heard a lot about breakfast tacos.”

He then added that he is looking forward to donning the jersey for the first time. He will wear No. 1, the team said.

Wembanyama’s French League teammate Bilal Coulibaly, a 6-foot-6 forward, was selected No. 7 by Indiana but traded to Washington. In return, Washington sent No. 8 Jarace Walker, a 6-foot-8 forward from the University of Houston, and two 2028 second-round picks to the Pacers.

Bleacher Report predicts what teams will do with their picks

Charlotte Hornets selected forward Brandon Miller from the University of Alabama with the second choice. As a freshman, the 6-foot-9 Miller was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year after leading the conference in 3-pointers per game. game while leading the nation as the highest scoring freshman.

He finished the season as the first player in SEC history to win Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and all SEC Tournament honors in the same season.

According to his NBA Draft Profile, Miller is “already a capable scorer who uses his length and athleticism to get to the hoop and finish over and around defenders.” He’s also comfortable shooting 3-pointers.

“I know they already have great players there. For me, I can just bring a winner, he told reporters. “I am willing to play all winning games as far as on or off the court.”

The 21-year-old Miller made headlines off the court when he was named a “cooperation witness” in a fatal shooting in January near the school’s campus. Miller was not charged with a crime, and according to Alabama, he was not considered a suspect.

G-League player Scott Hendersona 6-foot-2 guard, was the third pick that went to the Portland Trail Blazers.

“They get a dog. They get a dog that comes in and gets hungry,” he told ESPN, adding that he wants to make an impact off the field. “They get a special player; a special person.”

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The Houston Rockets also went the non-college route, selecting Amen Thompson, who played with his twin brother Ausar in Overtime Elite, an independent league for young players based in Atlanta.

Amen Thompson told reporters he would team up with Jalen Green to give the Rockets “two very athletic guards that can push the tempo.”

“I like to be in a team with as many people who can play for us as possible and I think that’s what we have over there,” he added.

Ausar, a forward, didn’t wait long after his twin to be selected as the Detroit Pistons selected him next. The 6-foot-7 brothers are the first siblings to be selected in the top five (or top 10 even) of the NBA Draft in the same year.

“I feel like we’re going to adjust (to being in different cities). It might be a little tough, but I think he’ll be fine,” Ausar Thompson said. “I know I’ll be fine. I want to FaceTime him.”

Other twins taken in the first round of the same draft were Marcus and Markieff Morris in 2011 and Brook and Robin Lopez in 2008.

This year, Kris Murray, a 6-foot-7 forward from the University of Iowa, was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 23rd pick. It comes a year after his twin brother, Keegan, was selected fourth overall by the Sacramento Kings.

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