The San Antonio Spurs have owned the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft three times in the organization’s storied history, with the previous two selections resulting in five NBA Championships. 

The Spurs selected David Robinson first overall in 1987 before taking Tim Duncan in 1997, with both players going on to have Hall of Fame careers as San Antonio became the envy of the NBA. 

Victor Wembanyama talks to the NBA media

Victor Wembanyama talks to the media during 2023 NBA Draft week on June 21, 2023 in New York City. (David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

San Antonio is hoping its string of luck in selecting first continues.


French phenom Victor Wembanyama became the first player selected in the 2023 NBA Draft on Thursday as San Antonio begins its rebuild following four down seasons. 

Wembanyama, a 7-foot-5 center who has garnered more attention than any prospect since LeBron James, is the prize jewel of this year’s draft class, tabbed as the next great NBA star.

“For me, San Antonio is synonymous with winning,” Wembanyama said, according to ESPN. “When, on lottery night, when the Spurs got the No. 1 pick, I was just thinking, I was feeling lucky that they got the pick as a franchise that has that culture and that experience in winning and making, creating good players. So, I really can’t wait.”

Victor Wembanyama takes the floor

Metropolitan 92’s French center Victor Wembanyama attends prior to the game three of French Elite basketball finals between Monaco and Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 in Paris, on June 15, 2023. (Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP)

The 19-year-old immediately makes San Antonio one of the most interesting teams in the NBA, despite the Spurs coming off a season in which they won just 22 games, the least amount of wins for the organization since the 1996-1997 season.


The expectations for the French star are sky high, though Wembanyama is not worried about the hype.

Victor Wembanyama is the No. 1 pick

Victor Wembanyama poses for a photo with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected first overall by the San Antonio Spurs during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 22, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

“I don’t let all this stuff get into my head,” Wembanyama said. “I’ve got such high expectations for myself that I’m immune to all this stuff. I really don’t care.”

Wembanyama is the perfect center for today’s NBA, able to stretch the floor with his shooting while being able to defend the rim and contest shooters.

Nikola Jokic, another European center, just led the Denver Nuggets to an NBA championship as a big man who forces defenses to guard him on the perimeter. 

Victor Wembanyama plays for the Metropolitan 92's

Victor Wembanyama of Metropolitans during the Betclic Elite Playoffs match between Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitan 92 (Mets) and Cholet Basket at Palais des Sports Marcel Cerdan on May 25, 2023 in Levallois-Perret near Paris. (Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)


Wembanyama is planning on bringing his style to the NBA stage as the Spurs look to put together a quick rebuild.

“You saw me play at 13, and I’ve played the same,” Wembanyama said Wednesday, per ESPN. “I’ve been playing like that. And honestly, I’m just trying to be myself. You said I’m a hybrid. It’s just I’m myself.

“No one is going to stop me from dribbling the ball, bringing the ball up and shooting threes. Nobody is going to stop me from doing that. Even though sometimes coaches in my career would try to stop me from doing that because they had to win right now. So, it was really an everyday fight to stay true to myself, and, yeah, this is something that I’m never going to lose, for sure.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.