NBA players vote Victor Wembanyama as the best defender

Gregg Popovich also got some love — and little bit of hate?

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at San Antonio SpursDaniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA recently ran an anonymous player poll, which up to 141 players participated in voting on a variety of questions, ranging from who the greatest player of all time is (spoiler: it’s Michael Jordan) to who should win MVP this season (Nikola Jokic, followed closely by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander). However, there were also questions where some Spurs received votes. Beginning with the most relevant to today, Victor Wembanyama came in first for the “Best Defender” with 15.2% of the votes (or about 20 of 132 votes).

That shouldn’t be too surprising from a player’s perspective since, unlike Defensive Player of the Year voters, they have actually faced him head on and know what it’s like, but perhaps even more interesting is the presumptive DPOY favorite, Rudy Gobert, is down at 6th, and the third finalist, Bam Adebayo, is 8th. I don’t know what else to say about that other than #justsayin.

Wemby also came up as the player most players would want to build a roster with, followed very closely by Jokic. That would make since as both players are nearly unguardable in their own way while also being unselfish, likeable personalities. It would just be a matter of age and if you’re aiming to win right now or a little later.

Gregg Popovich also showed up in both the coach players would most and least want to play for. For the life of me, I couldn’t get a screen shot of the former, but he came in second behind Eric Spoelstra with 18.8% of the votes, or about 25 of the 133 players who answered that question. Hilariously, he also received 5 votes as the coach players would least like to play for — maybe it’s players who either don’t want to be yelled at or have their minutes managed — but that’s nowhere near the whopping 46.8% Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau got.

I’m guessing the Thibs hate comes from him not only being an intense yeller, but even more so he plays fewer players and on heavy minutes, therefore he’s harder to get playing time under him, but when you do, be ready to go hard each and every night. (Fairly or not, his history of his star players often being injured has been tied to the heavy minutes load he has them play.) Doc Rivers is also a distant second, perhaps became players know he won’t hesitate to throw them under the bus.

Last, there are the most underrated and overrated players in the NBA. While no current Spur appeared in the underrated poll, a favorite former Spur in Derrick White led the way, tied with the Thunder’s Jalen Williams.

The Athletic

For most overrated, it was Gobert again (are the players trying to tell the media something?), followed by Jordan Poole and perhaps the most divisive name in Spurs social media right now (through no fault of his own): Trae Young. This screen shot also captured the “also receiving votes” at the bottom, and Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell each received a stray shot. It’s kind of interesting considering they have had relatively obscure careers so far to be catching flack from opposing players (or maybe it’s a former teammate), but Vassell especially makes little sense. If the reason is his contract extension, it hasn’t kicked in yet, so what is there to judge?

What do you think, Pounders? Do you agree or disagree with the results? Did I miss anything (since I’m admittedly too frugal to pay for subscriptions and am going by the screen shots of others)? Feel free to discuss in the comments below.

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