ESPN NBA reporter Andrew Lopez will move to south Texas to cover Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs this season, he announced online Thursday.
Lopez previously was based in New Orleans covering Zion Williamson and the Pelicans for ESPN.
“To be able to cover two one-of-a-kind prospects from their rookie seasons – first Zion Williamson and now Victor Wembanyama – is something I’m thrilled about,” Lopez wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
– I am moving to San Antonio (continue to send breakfast taco recommendations)
– I will still be covering the Pelicans, albeit from afar at times
– Very excited for this opportunity with ESPN
– NOLA is and will always be my home
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) September 21, 2023
Wembanyama is sure to be a big-time economy for the Spurs and the NBA, even as a rookie. San Antonio is on national television 11 times this season, far more than other small market cellar-dwellers in the NBA.
ESPN was all-in on Wembanyama in the lead-up to the 2023 NBA Draft, in which he was the No. 1 overall pick. The network sent NBA insider Brian Windhorst to Paris twice for Wembanyama interviews. Another NBA insider, Adrian Wojnarowski, called Wembanyama the best prospect in the history of professional team sports on the broadcast of the NBA Draft lottery in April.
The story is equally interesting from the Spurs side.
All-time wins leader Gregg Popovich recently signed a five-year extension amid rumors he would retire. The Spurs are a fun, young team with a bright future. And while San Antonio has a rich history after five championships led by Hall of Famer Tim Duncan, they led the league to some of its worst Finals ratings ever in their heyday.
And it’s a mystery how much Wembanyama will play with his skinny 7-foot-3 frame and San Antonio’s propensity to “load manage” its star players.
Regardless, San Antonio figures to be one of the stories of the NBA this season. And ESPN will be there the whole way.