Mark Burnett can’t get Victor Wembanyama Out of his head. It would be as if he were taking a blade. to You can also find out more about the following: “Mona Lisa.”

Burnett, a San Antonio Spurs fan Joe Barajas had a local barber shear his hair. Wembanyama’s likeness into the side of his head just over a week ago. Like most of the rest of the basketball community, he had expected the Spurs to win. to Select Wembanyama No. The N.B.A. The draft will take place on Thursday.

“I wanted to show Victor something special, that the city of San Antonio already loves him,” Burnett said at a draft night party at the Spurs’ home arena, moments before San Antonio Indeed selected WembanyamaWho had shared a photo of Burnett On his Instagram page.

Fanatical? Perhaps. It is also very reasonable and this is not only because it offers so much promise. WembanyamaA 19-year old French basketball player. As San Antonio’s sole major professional sports franchise, the Spurs are the beating heart of the seventh-largest city in the United States.

“I want to do the best I can in every aspect of the job,” Wembanyama “, he said at his inaugural news conference held on Saturday. San Antonio. “The fans have been the best at their job. I can only hope to be at their level.”

The River City has lost its magic recently. Spurs has not won any championships. to The playoffs were made in each of the last four years; the team had been there every year since 1997 and won five championships. In 2022/23, they had the same record as the Western Conference’s worst team, but there was a bright side: they shared the highest odds. to You will be the first pick of the draft. The No. 1 draft pick is now theirs. The draft has now been completed. Wembanyama.

“It’s going to be a huge uptick for the economy,” said Aaron Peña, who owns two bars in San Antonio Plans to In two weeks, you can open another. “We’re already planning to host not only opening-night parties, but every Spurs game. It’s going to be a party.”

The party is already underway for some business owners. Chip Ingram, owner of Roo pub, a themed Australian bar, was inspired by Patty Mills – a former Spurs Australian defender. Ingram attracted a large crowd to his pub in May after he said that, should the Spurs win the lottery on that day, he’d pay the bill. Ingram admitted that the Spurs’ win on May 16 cost him quite a bit, but he said it was worth the attention.

Ingram has added a new element to his menu: a “Wemby Burger” It also includes French onion rings and foie-gras. After a $1 promotional deal on draft night, the burger now costs $21.50 — a nod to The Spurs’ legends Tim Duncan (who wore the No. 21) and David Robinson, who wore the No. David Robinson (No. 50. These were the same No. 1 picks.

Some economic research has cast doubts on the strength of the Wembanyama ” San Antonio. A 2017 paper from Daniel Shoag of Harvard University and Stan Veuger of the American Enterprise Institute found that LeBron James’s return to Cleveland’s 2014 saw a rise in the closing of eating places and bars to the Cavaliers’ arena. But that wasn’t the case in Miami when James joined the Heat in 2010, though he had a significant effect on employment close to Both cities have arenas. Economists have long argued The stadiums of professional sports franchises don’t do much to help Local economies

“I think people are going to be into the Spurs no matter what, but this just does give more attention to San Antonio,” said Julián Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio The Secretary for Housing and Urban development was Barack Obama. “It gives a boost to the city in terms of how much it’s in the national spotlight. It raises the profile and visibility of the city with people, and that’s always good for business.”

Shea Serrano – an author, television writer and journalist from San AntonioNever miss an opportunity to Talk about his Spurs. He claimed he “lost my mind” The Spurs were the winners of the draft lottery.

“It felt in the city at that moment like we had won another championship,” He said.

Brandon Gayle, chief operating officer of the Spurs, said the team had seen a sharp increase in demand for season tickets — and from a younger, more diverse demographic than usual. San Antonio’s population is about 66 percent Hispanic or Latino of any race and 23 percent white alone, with less than 10 percent of residents who identify as Asian or Black/African American, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Gayle stated that Spurs want to Expand their reach to Mexico and Austin in Texas where the team played several matches recently.

From the opening of the Spurs’ arena, the AT&T Center, before the 2002-3 season to The 2018-19 season was the last time that the team reached the playoffs. San Antonio Always ranked among the top half in N.B.A. attendance. The team has been in the bottom 5 for the last two seasons

Carly Tovar, the daughter of three generations of Spurs supporters, is a second-generation Spurs fan. Ralph Tovar was there with Carly Tovar’s son Mario Calderon and Ralph Tovar her father. Ralph Tovar began supporting the Spurs after the Spurs moved out of Dallas, in the 70s. Carly attended high school in 1999 when the Spurs first won the title. Carly went downtown against the wishes of her father. to Join in on the celebrations, as fans honked their horns, walked along the freeway and basked in the win over the Knicks.

“I came up with David Robinson, Avery Johnson, and I was able to appreciate the next generation with Duncan and Robinson,” Carly stated. “So now we get to see that happen for the third time.” She gestured to Her son

Ralph agreed. “It’s good for our city,” He said. “It’s got what we call la lumbre, the fire.”

Spurs’ renewed spirit has changed the atmosphere around them San AntonioIn the form of striking Wembanyama Artists in the area pay homage to their heritage. Oscar Alvarado, a tile mosaic artist who traces his family’s San Antonio The roots of the 18-foot high tree go back almost 300 years Wembanyama The cutout is made from steel and wood. Colton Valentine created an oversized mural. Wembanyama Gregg Popovich paid a visit to a Southtown art bar for palming two balls on its outside. Nik Soupe, perhaps the most daring of all of them: he finished a large mural depicting himself. Wembanyama Wearing a Spurs shirt nearly two months prior to the lottery.

Several fans said Wembanyama’s ability to To generate a buzz that was palpable, it is essential to use the right tools. “un-Spurslike.” Duncan was quiet, and gave few interviews or did commercials. He is similar to Kawhi Leonard who won the Spurs’ most recent championship in 2014.

What have we seen so far? Wembanyama The spotlight has been a joy. The video he posted to Instagram showed him beaming as an army of fans met him when he arrived in San Antonio On Friday,

“He should expect legions of little old ladies saying prayers in Catholic churches for the Spurs to win,” Castro said, “and his success being celebrated by people like he’s a member of their family. That’s the level of enthusiasm and how personally that a lot of folks take it over there.”