San Antonio Spurs legend and upcoming Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Tony Parker shared a photo of fellow French countryman and projected top 2023 NBA Draft pick Victor Wembanyama wearing his jersey as a child after the Spurs won the NBA Draft Lottery Tuesday (May 16) night.
"Yesss he’s going to the @spurs!!! So proud of you," Parker tweeted along with the photo.
Wembanyama, 19, who currently plays for Metropolitans 92 in his home country, is considered to be one of the most heralded prospects in NBA history, standing at 7-foot-5 with an 8-foot wingspan while possessing the ability to shoot 3-pointers. Parker, who is set to become the first French player to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in August, played for the Spurs from 2001-18, which included winning four of the franchise's five NBA championships and -- along with Argentina native Manu Ginóbili -- was among the important of San Antonio's many international players during head coach Gregg Popovich's 27-year head coaching tenure.
“There’s a special relationship between France and the Spurs because of Tony, of course because of Boris [Diaw],” Wembanyama said Tuesday via SI.com. “I know half of the country maybe, if not the whole country, wanted the Spurs to have the first pick.”
The Spurs had previously won the NBA Draft lottery twice, which resulted in the franchise drafting eventual Hall of Fame big men in David Robinson in 1987 and Tim Duncan in 1998. The duo won the franchise's first two NBA championships together in 1999 and 2003, while Duncan contributed to all five prior to his retirement in 2016.