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Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta loves him some Mardi Gras and apparently Victor Wembanyama, too.
Fertitta professed his love for Wembanyama, a French big man and surefire top pick in June’s NBA draft, over the weekend.
Houston radio’s Sean Pendergast caught up with Fertitta during a Mardi Gras celebration to talk hoops and…prayers.
“We gotta thank God we got 10 days off,” a seemingly well-within his cups Feritta said, referencing the NBA’s All-Star break.
The comment made it clear that Fertitta isn’t exactly enjoying the season. Houston is an NBA-worst 13-45. This coming off a 2021-22 campaign in which the Rockets finished as the league’s worst team. They’re nothing if not consistent.
Fortunately, there’s a pot of gold – and ticket sales – at the end of the rainbow, if Houston continues to reek. That deodorizer is Victor Wembanyama.
“Pray for Victor,” Fertitta said while combining laughs with stumbles.
Losing Won’t Guarantee Wembanyama
Tilman Fertitta’s probably wise to rely on act of God to change Houston’s fortunes. Continued losing doesn’t guarantee that Wembanyama will be a Rocket. In 2019 the NBA revamped their Draft Lottery rules in attempt to discourage teams from tanking.
The league’s bottom three teams all have an equal 14% chance of winning the top pick. Prior to 2019, the worst team had better odds. Additionally, the NBA’s fourth worst team now has nearly the same odds of landing the top pick (12.5%).
In other words, keep the prayers coming.
Rockets Could Use Victor
It’s easy to see why Fertitta’s Rockets and every other NBA team would invoke the power or prayer to land Wembanyama. Similar to the Mardis Gras scene, the Frenchman’s talent is intoxicating. He handles the ball like a guard, can shoot threes or post up, and is as dominant defensively as you’d expect from someone 7’2″.
The 19-year-old is widely considered as the highest-rated NBA prospect since LeBron James. Wembanyama currently plays professionally for Metropolitans 92 of the LNB Pro – the top pro league in France.
Should Fertitta and Houston strike lottery gold and land the top pick, they may need some liquid courage to explain their bottoming out strategy to Victor.
“Tanking? It’s a weird strategy. I find it unreasonable, and I try not to think about it,” Wembanyama told French paper in early winter. “I also heard that the NBA considered changing a few rules for me, but that doesn’t concern me.”
If tanking and prayers don’t work, maybe Fertitta can toss Wemebanyama some beads.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF
One CommentLeave a Reply
If there’s a New York or NE team in that top 3, that team is going to get that top pick.