Welcome back, Spurs
San Antonio lands Victor Wembanyama. They are officially back in our lives full-time. PLUS: big man ball in the Western Conference Finals.
Good morning. Let’s basketball.
In a moment filled with tension, the four teams who had a chance at the No. 1 pick coming out of the last of several painful commercial breaks during the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night were the Portland Trail Blazers, Charlotte Hornets, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs.
The Blazers picked a tremendous on-stage rep: legendary Brandon Roy, who looks great and whose legend would have grown infinitely stronger had Portland won the lottery. The Rockets sent … uh, a rather surprising one: Ime Udoka, the team’s new head coach in his first live national TV appearance since … everything. (That would have been an interesting interview spot for Malika Andrews had Houston won. Ask him a question everyone knows the answer to — “How does it feel to win No. 1?” — vs. asking about the most mysterious situation still lingering in the NBA.) The Hornets sent their promising young center Mark Williams, who would have been put in the position of having to celebrate winning for his team the rights to draft his replacement. Awkward!
And the boring old Spurs went full-on boring by sending the team’s franchise governor, scion of the Holt family, Peter J. Holt, not to be confused with his father, the longtime former franchise governor of the Spurs, Peter M. Holt. In a league of Busses and Dolans and Cubans and Ballmers and Lacobs and now Ishbias, that the Holt family has remained as anonymous as they have for decades is a testament to how boring the NBA world finds the Spurs franchise. But hey? Boring often wins.
Peter J. Holt seems a little different than his pops: a little more interested in tying the family to the Spurs in the public consciousness. The Holts are tractor dealers. This isn’t a joke: Peter J. and his sister Corinna Richter own the biggest Caterpillar dealer in the nation. Tractors are cool, but pro basketball is cooler, and Peter J. seems quite cognizant of that fact. Why else would he volunteer to be the one to give an honest reaction to either massive disappointment or incredible good luck on live national television? Who actually wants to do that?! It sounds miserable.
But he did it, and it’s clear that he’s really, really invested in the team’s success in whatever that means for him.
That’s the face of a man who knows this stroke of luck is going to add some real digits to both the Spurs’ win total and the Spurs’ valuation over the next decade.
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