CAPTION: Spurs Managing Partner Peter J. Holt holds a framed photo of his father, Peter M. Holt, who celebrates after winning the the 1997 NBA Draft Lottery the organization used on future Hall-of-Famer Tim Duncan. The younger Holt represented the Spurs during the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery and celebrated winning this year’s event in similar fashion. Photo courtesy of the San Antonio Spurs
Peter J. Holt may have been the first, but he wasn’t the only one.
When his San Antonio Spurs were revealed to win the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery May 17— and the right to pick 19-year-old French-born phenom Victor Wembanyama — Holt’s loud enthusiasm was echoed down U.S. 281, Loop 410, the 1604 corridor and throughout the city of San Antonio and beyond.
Even Wembanyama and his family and friends looked thrilled to see San Antonio win the lottery, the same franchise that French-American Tony Parker played for and helped win four NBA titles.
Winning the lottery gave the Spurs something it has lacked for some time.
That’s because of how the Spurs management has handled the draft, exhibiting the ability to carefully examine the needs of the team, drafting the best player, and build championship rosters around him.
Let me LOL at the Spurs fans who called winning the lottery a once-in-a-lifetime event. Some of us have witnessed it for the third time. But the most important part of winning the lottery is properly identifying the top prospect and developing him.
And no organization has the recent track record of doing that better than the Spurs. Just look at who they drafted with their last No. 1 picks: David Robinson in 1987 and Tim Duncan in 1997. Two players who won NBA titles. Two hall of famers who didn’t leave the franchise for the glitz and glamor of L.A., Miami or New York.
And the truth is this franchise has turned numerous first round picks into beloved players, even those not drafted No. 1 overall: Johnny Dawkins, Sean Elliott and Parker.
That’s the fear the rest of the NBA has. The Spurs management’s track record suggests that it can do a whole lot with the No. 1 overall pick and a talented roster.
How good is Wembanyama? I could quote the reports I’ve read that state he’s as good or better than LeBron James. And those who know me best know the only the pair of eyes I trust are mine. Let me see him play among the greatest basketball players on the planet and get back to you later.
That’s for another day. Let’s simply focus on the joy and happiness among a fan base starved for success. The Spurs have a following that’s hard to explain. Texans know San Antonio is different from Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Lubbock and even Austin. And few states appreciate winners more than this one.
That’s why Spurs fans everywhere captured their joy on video and shared it on social media, honked their horns and waved their flags while cruising downtown San Antonio, and called for ticket prices less than 24 hours after the lottery finished.
And screamed and leapt for joy just like Holt.