HomeSportsNBAESPN appears to have accidentally leaked No. 1 pick in NBA Lottery ahead of time

ESPN appears to have accidentally leaked No. 1 pick in NBA Lottery ahead of time

by Griffin McVeigh
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

There was a ton of anticipation leading up to Tuesday night’s NBA Draft lottery. Fourteen teams had traveled to Chicago, all hoping to come away with the same thing — the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft and Victor Wembanyama. Already being called the greatest prospect in team sports history, there was a ton on the line.

ESPN’s broadcast began at 7 p.m. CT but the lottery order began to be revealed around 15 minutes later. Although to some people who were really paying attention, they knew the results before NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark ever stepped up to the podium.

Somehow, ESPN leaked the first overall pick, with Twitter being quick to notice the error. The bottom of the first card is visible on screen when someone is walking across the stage to place them on Tatum’s podium. It came in at a weird angle and was only for a split second.

But you can clearly see the Spurs’ logo, potentially ruining all of the drama.

You can watch the full moment here.

Even with the leak, the Spurs were not too big of a surprise to win the lottery. They were one of three teams with a 14% chance to wind up winners thanks to a 22-60 season. Generational centers love to wind up in San Antonio, with the franchise adding to their successful history in the lottery.

Leaked or not, Victor Wembanyama will join the San Antonio Spurs

No matter what happened on Tuesday night, Victor Wembanyama was going to be the first overall pick. Teams went out of their way to lose games during the 2022-2023 season, hoping to get their hands on a generational player.

For most of the country, they sat through the drama, waiting to find out which team would see their miserable year instantly turn into success. A small minority caught ESPN’s mistake and did not have the same building of anticipation before Tatum made it official.

Either way, Wembanyama will be heading to the Lone Star State and working with head coach Greg Popovich. There has been a French connection with San Antonio for years now, dating back to the Tony Parker days.

Wembanyama will be the latest from France to join the Spurs. Everyone involved will be hoping there is just as much team success, adding a few championships onto the banners Parker has already put in the rafters.