Prior to the 2022-23 NBA season it was known that the Houston Rockets were going to be major players in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. The Rockets were undergoing a rebuild after being forced to orchestrate an organizational teardown, which included trading All-NBA guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
Wembanyama was the prized prospect who was touted as being more NBA-ready than LeBron James in 2003. Every rebuilding team had their sights on him, which included the Rockets, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets, and San Antonio Spurs.
As we all know, the Spurs won the draft lottery, which paved the way for them to draft the French center. Wembanyama disrespected the Rockets along the way, as he pumped his fists when he discovered that the Rockets wouldn't be landing the top overall pick.
Wemby was seen murmuring that it was a good thing that Houston wouldn't be securing the rights to draft him.
Fast forward five months and about a tenth of the way through the 2023-24 season and....well, let's say that Wemby shouldn't quite be as enthused about landing in San Antonio, versus being in Houston.
The Spurs have the worst record in the Western Conference (3-12), whereas the Rockets rank eighth in the same respective conference with a 7-6 record. Wembanyama's offensive inefficiencies have been on full display, as his frail build has made it rather easy to bump him away from high percentage looks around the rim, in favor of jump shots that are less likely to fall for the 7-foot-4 big man.
The Spurs' development system has been heavily compromised, due to the losses of Becky Hammon, Will Hardy, and Ime Udoka over the years. While Gregg Popovich is viewed as one of the game's greatest coaches ever, he's not exactly viewed as a developmental coach, so losing valuable assistants such as Udoka and Hammon was monumental.
The Wembanyama-led Spurs have struggled to find an identity, as they don't quite know who they are. In fact, Wembanyama's French coaches have already began expressing their displeasure with how Popovich is using the 19-year-old big man.
Granted, this wouldn't quite be as magnified if the Spurs had a legitimate traditional point guard on the roster, but they don't currently have that. The Rockets, on the other hand, have Fred VanVleet, whose 8.8 assists rank fourth in the league.
The Rockets appear primed to make the postseason, while the Spurs could very well find themselves in yet another tank year, which would be a major disappointment, as NBA legend Kevin Garnett stated that the Spurs should make the playoffs this season, prior to the start of the season.
Early on, it doesn't seem as though that will be the case. In fact, many Spurs fans are worried about Wembanyama eventually reaching his breaking point and leaving the franchise for one of the bigger market teams, out of frustration and disappointment of what the San Antonio media market will be unable to grant him.
With that being said, one has to assume that Wemby regrets some of the takes that he made regarding the Rockets. If he's honest with himself, he's regretting his Rockets slander right now, as the Rockets' future looks much more promising than the Spurs'.