Victor Wembanyama gets emotional as NBA Rookie of the Year winners congratulate him in surprise fashion

Victor Wembanyama, the San Antonio Spurs' No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, is this year's Rookie of the Year after an outstanding first season in the Association.

Wembanyama enters an elite club made up of Rookie of the Year winners who have become legends of the game, some of whom are still in the NBA.

To celebrate the achievement, Fanatics decided to invite “Wemby” to take a look at a special exhibit called “Fanatics Beginnings,” which he said was simply a glimpse into the memories of past Rookie of the Year winners.


Victor Wembanyama watches the screen with Kevin Durant

Victor Wembanyama listens to video message from Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant (Fanatics)

Little did he know that all the exposure was just for him.

As Wembanyama began looking through the rookie cards of Allen Iverson, Shaquille O'Neal and Kevin Durant, among others, the exhibit began to come to life. It started with Jason Kidd's voice being heard in his Dallas Mavericks case, where the mouth started moving on the screen.

“Victor, hey, Jason Kidd here,” the photo said as Wemby stood there stunned.

“Vic, how are you doing man? It's Vince Carter here,” the next voice said.

Finally, LeBron James said, “Yo, what's up Wemby?” From there, the lights dimmed and video messages from past Rookie of the Year winners began popping up all over the exhibit.


“Hey Victor, I just want to congratulate you on a fantastic rookie season,” Grant Hill said. “I saw you coming in with all the hype and talk. You lived up to it.”

Fellow Spur player David Robinson also had a message for Wembanyama.

“You represented Spurs, you represented yourself, you represented France. Everyone,” he explained.

Victor Wembanyama watches the screen with Lebron James

Victor Wembanyama listens to LeBron James' video message (Fanatics)

Everyone from Iverson to Carter to O'Neal to Pau Gasol has praised Wembanyama, who led the entire NBA in blocks this season (3.6 per game) while also leading all rookies with 21.4 points per game.

“At the end of the day, you will be one of the greatest men of all time,” O’Neal said.

At this point, Wembanyama, 20, was clearly getting emotional as he listened to the message, and then LeBron James — the 2003 Rookie of the Year with the Cleveland Cavaliers — appeared on screen.

“I just want to congratulate you, man,” he said. “Glad to have you in this great league. Keep pushing yourself. Keep improving. I want to congratulate you, man. Rookie of the year. Well deserved.

Victor Wembanyama looks to the future

Fanatics surprised the 2024 NBA Rookie of the Year with several award winners congratulating him in a surprise display. (Fanatics)


“This is just the beginning.”

Wembanyama couldn't believe the love he was receiving from NBA legends and Hall of Famers, but he deserves his flowers after living up to all the hype he received before joining the NBA outside France.

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