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#pounditThursday, May 30, 2024

Victor Wembanyama had great quote about Defensive Player of the Year award

Spurs star Victor Wembanyama at a press conference

Jun 24, 2023; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs draft pick Victor Wembanyama speaks at a press conference at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Victor Wembanyama experience has already taken over the NBA this season. The San Antonio Spurs rookie knows it’s only the beginning.

Wembanyama will likely be a finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year award — and for good reason. The Frenchman has averaged 8.2 defensive rebounds, 1.3 steals, and a league-leading 3.4 blocks over 56 games so far in his first year in the NBA.

But Wembanyama is expected to lose the award to his countryman Rudy Gobert. The 3-time DPOY Gobert has anchored the defense for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who boast the best defensive rating in the NBA by a wide margin.

During his Thursday press conference, Wembanyama was asked about contending for the Defensive Player of the Year award in his first year. The Spurs star gave an awesome response.

“I know that Rudy [Gobert] has a very good chance of winning it this year, and it would be deserved. Let him win it now, because after that it’s no longer his turn,” Wemby answered.

It’s hard to argue with Wembanyama on this one. He averages almost a full block per game more than the next closest players in the category. Wemby’s absurd 8-foot wingspan deters players from attacking the basket arguably more than any other player in the league not named Gobert.

When it comes to Wembanyama winning the DPOY award, it feels like a matter of “when” and not “if.”

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