Conversations surrounding Victor Wembanyama have continued as the offseason progresses. The start of the season is only about a month away and it looks like it will be here any day now. For some of the San Antonio Spurs faithful, waiting for the first game to arrive has been like waiting to see a Mandalorian take off his helmet, something most of them don’t do. In the meantime, fans can enjoy the spotlight shining on the NBA’s most unique rookie.
Spurs and Rockets fans rarely agree, but this revelation from Ralph Sampson highlights the brotherhood across the league and how so many former players don’t care about bitter team rivalries. Too many cooks in the kitchen can ruin a meal, but Wemby should be open to learning about whatever secret sauce formula the 7-foot-4 center is willing to share as the Hall of Famer paved the way for the rise of his archetype.
Minute management master Gregg Popovich can be expected to exercise the utmost care in allocating court time for Wemby in every game during his rookie season. However, Sampson’s comment about the No. 1 overall pick wearing down is still a great nugget to remember. The Rockets superstar averaged nearly 37 minutes per game in his second and third years in the NBA, and the toll that immense workload took on her slender frame was evident.
The 1985 season was the last year Sampson played more than 70 games as wear and tear took its toll on the versatile center. He only made 43 appearances in 1986 and was traded to the Warriors in 1987, where he continued to suffer setbacks from knee and back injuries. If Wemby plans to have a long and fruitful career, he would be wise to heed the warnings of previous athletes with similar builds while still remaining an advanced thinker in maintaining his body.
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