clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Victor Wembanyama and the burden of meeting extreme expectations

It’s already hard enough for top NBA picks to live up to the extreme hype fans/media place on them, and Wemby may have the biggest ever hurdle to clear.

2023 NBA Draft Lottery Photo by Jenny Fischer/NBAE via Getty Images

One of the most viral videos about future top overall pick and (presumed) Spur-to-be Victor Wembanyama over the last week has been one called “The Harsh Truth about Victor Webmanyama” by JxmyHighroller. The name of the video may be intimidating — I initially feared it would be just another take from a non-medical expert about how he’s a toothpick waiting to be snapped in half by the NBA — but it’s actually not, and there’s a reason it’s already approaching 2 million views in just six days.

A more accurate title may have been “The Harsh Truth about Top Overall Picks”, because it mainly explores the extreme burden of expectations placed on incoming players who are expected to be stars and how rare it is for them to actually live up to the hype, if they even stick around. The video goes through many stats from the last 25 years, such as how many first overall picks actually became the best player on their teams, won championships, became All-Stars, stayed with the team that drafted them, etc., and it’s a lot less than you may think.

But of course, the Spurs have often been the exception, not the rule, and they got all of those things the two other times they drafted first overall, from immediate and historical turnarounds, to championships, loyalty, and anything else anyone could ever ask for from a franchise player. Can they do the same thing a third time? Only time will tell, but while the stats may say no, franchise history says yes.

Be sure to give the video a watch. This math nerd personally enjoyed it, and JxmyHighroller has at least one new viewer in me.