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Links: The Spurs were planning for this moment years ago

Plus much more to get you through the wait for Thursday evening.

2023 NBA Draft Lottery Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

Thanks the presumed acquisition of Victor Wembanyama on draft night in just over 48 hours, the San Antonio Spurs are suddenly relevant again in the national media after taking a couple of years off. As a result, it’s time brush off ye olde Links post and provide fellow Pounders with some more reading material as we await the big day, beginning with:

How the Spurs laid the groundwork for 2023 NBA Draft to change everything

Our old friend Michael C. Wright — formerly of ESPN, reporter of facts, and defender of the Spurs organization against the slander of Kawhi and Uncle Dennis back in the day — is back with a great read on about how the Spurs started planning for this moment as far back as the 2020 Bubble, where they shifted to a more modern style of ball and began strategically drafting system-flexible players, making the right free agency moves at the right time, and balancing business with basketball. Now, it’s all about to pay off.

Fantasy vs. Reality

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst presents an interactive article with both a “fantastic” and “reality” side, where, in his own words: “The fantastic side explores what Wembanyama could be if he lives up to the dreams Spurs fans undoubtedly have for him. The realistic side gives a more down-to-earth view of what to expect when he suits up in an NBA uniform for the first time this fall.” A little popup will appear at the bottom to switch between the Fantasy and Reality tabs, so go interact and have fun. (And if you’re afraid of the reality, don’t worry. It’s not that far off from the fantasy.)

Why Wemby is the best prospect since LeBron James

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony is all in on the Wemby hype and explains why he’s the best prospect of the last 20 years. Kendrick Perkins follows up with how fortunate the Spurs and Wemby are to have each other.

Looking ahead

  • Wednesday: Tune in to ABC’s Good Morning America tomorrow to hear Wemby’s first big interview ahead of the draft with Robin Roberts. He will also speak with News 4’s Don Harris tomorrow around 2 PM, although it’s unclear if that will be live.
  • Thursday: Duh, it’s the day Wemby becomes a Spur! You can watch on any ESPN platform, with coverage beginning at 7:00 PM CT.
  • Friday: Wemby is expected to arrive in San Antonio around 2 PM CT. Will there be an airport greeting party? Nothing says there will be, but if you do plan on venturing out to catch a glimpse of the towering Frenchman, be sure to bring plenty of water during this epic heatwave. (Anyone remember when it got down to around 15 degrees F this time six months ago? Good times.)
  • Saturday: Although a time hasn't been given, the introductory press conference for all of the Spurs’ draftees will be sometime Saturday morning.