It has been a rough year for the Spurs. They have lost some nail-biters. They have been flummoxed by a few teams. There have been issues with losing leads, issues with third quarter runs by opponents, issues with closing out games. But one thing is for certain, the Spurs are working it out.
They are finding their way. There have been a number of games where they looked completely down and out, and then made fourth quarter runs. Sure, many times they fell short, but they didn’t give up the fight. More proof that putting together 48 minutes is imperative in this sport.
Victor Wembanyama has also played with limited minutes. This has perhaps slowed his development (which is still creating some ROTY numbers). It has been apparent in some of his decision-making on the court. It has been clear in the struggles his teammates have had in utilizing Wemby’s natural gifts.
But for anyone who thought drafting a top pick was going to lead to an instant change, a title run, a playoff berth. or even just a winning record may not be reading the tea leaves correctly.
Gregg Popovich addressed critics’ expectations:
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich: “You know, people’s opinions… they don’t know, they don’t understand. When they see us drafting a guy like Victor, everybody knows he’s talented. It’s not just about talent.” #PorVida #NBA #Wembanyama pic.twitter.com/vaDhUTIiRg— Dusty Garza (@Dgarza888) February 7, 2024
“Michael Jordan’s first title came in his seventh year, Nikola Jokic just won his first ring and it took him eight years, We have every right to hope that things will go faster for Victor, but you can’t skip stages. If it were that easy, you’d have a different champion every year. our cycle of success has been long, stretching over three decades. At some point, you have to start from scratch. That’s where we are today.”
Not to mention David Robinson didn’t win his first title until a second franchise cornerstone was drafted, fans and critics should take solace in knowing that Wemby is in for the long hall, and Pop knows a little something about patience.
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