SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs have a young roster that received plenty of NBA experience last season and perhaps the greatest coach in NBA history, Gregg Popovich.
Mix in the franchise owning the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery with French basketball star Victor Wembanyama as the grand prize and the Spurs have the makings of becoming a playoff team sooner than later.
However, Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley still does not believe in the Spurs.
Speaking with SiriusXM NBA Radio, Barkley reacted to the hype surrounding Wembanyama and the Spurs.
He took issue with the 19-year-old's focus on winning NBA titles soon. A statement he made soon after the NBA announced the Spurs won the Draft Lottery.
“It's stupid," Barkley said. "Just because you’re getting all this hype and you’ve been kicking ass in France all these years, that don’t mean nothing when he steps on the court next year."
Barkley pointed to how other NBA great players have yet to win a championship. He singled out how Chris Paul and Jayson Tatum are still ringless and that chasing a title is difficult.
And if that wasn't enough, he believes the Spurs will just be the third-best Texas NBA team even with Wembanyama on the roster.
"Probably gonna be the third-best team in Texas," he said. "The Spurs aren't close to winning the championship, young fella."
The Spurs may not be on a path to the title next season but that does not mean the road to one is not clearly in sight.
Wembanyama provides the cornerpiece player for San Antonio to build around and with solid complimentary players like Devin Vassell, Jeremy Sochan, and Keldon Johnson, the playoffs are not far off.
Factor in the war chest of assets the team has at its disposal from cap flexibility, plenty of first and second-round picks, and more, the Spurs are well-positioned to be a legit contender for the NBA title quickly.
Also, Wembanyama's comment on titles is something any team will want to hear from a player and reflects his winning mentality.
Twitter: @KENS5, @JeffGSpursZone