Victor Wembanyama has been collecting records and accolades in his first season as an NBA professional, but his most recent was definitely like none other. The Spurs big man has just become the first athlete in league history to ever make the NBA’s All-Defensive first time as a rookie player.

The competition made this announcement this past Tuesday afternoon, as the French sensation appeared on 98 of the 99 ballots cast. Headlining the squad was Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, who was also joined by Heat’s Bam Adebayo, Herb Jones from New Orleans, and purple and gold center Anthony Davis.

When asked about him, the Miami big man admitted that the young superstar overcame his own expectations. “Coming into this league, obviously he had high expectations because he’s 7-3 and shooting step-back 3s. I think a lot of people paid attention more to that than what he actually did on the defensive end,” he said of Wembanyama.

“So, for him to get first-team, first come around, it’s obviously a great accolade for him,” added Adebayo, who earned his fifth All-Defensive squad, but his first as a member of the first team. Jones also made his debut on the first roster.

When asked about his own, Bam felt it was long time coming. “I feel it’s a long time coming, obviously,” the Heat star said of his first-team nod. “Just staying in this moment, enjoying it, blessed to be able to be one of the ones selected.”

On the other hand, the Spurs center has now entered the list as the sixth rookie to make the All-Defensive Team. The only difference is that all the other five earned second-team nods in their freshman campaign.

Now the league prepares for today’s All-NBA team announcement. If the French big man makes this roster, he would also become the first rookie to be awarded this distinction since Tim Duncan did back in 1998.

Wemby Believes Rudy Gobert Should Enjoy DPOY Now Because Later ‘It’s No Longer His Turn’

Rudy Gobert has just positioned himself as one of the best defenders to ever grace an NBA court, and he has the accolades to back him up. The Minnesota center has just been awarded his fourth Defensive Player of the Year prize this Tuesday, just as his team is preparing to play Denver in the Western Conference semifinals. 

The French big man now owns a piece of a historic record alongside Hall of Famers Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo, who complete the list of the only three athletes to have these many DPOY.

“It’s a blessing and an honor to join this small group,” Rudy told the press just as the news broke. “These two guys are legends. Every story is unique. I will keep writing mine and try to be the best version of myself every day and enjoy every step of the way.”

Compatriot Victor Wembanyama was asked earlier this year about Gobert potentially winning the award and responded with, “Let him win it now, because after that, it’s no longer his turn,” he said.


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