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“Credit to Wemby”: Chet Holmgren Gives a Diplomatic Answer Regarding the ROTY Race

Shubham Singh

"Credit to Wemby": Chet Holmgren Gives a Diplomatic Answer Regarding the ROTY Race

While Victor Wembanyama is being widely considered to be a lock for the 2024 Rookie of the Year Award, Chet Holmgren has been right behind him in the race. Holmgren has had a great outing in his rookie year in the NBA. But his contributions to the Western Conference’s top seed, the Oklahoma City Thunder, have been dwarfed by Wemby’s iconic season.

The Thunder star recently sat down with Boardroom’s co-founder Rich Kleiman and discussed the Rookie of the Year race. Kleinman triggered the discussion by asking the OKC Center if he considers himself the Rookie of the Year despite Wemby “doing staggering things”. The Rookie of the Year candidate gave a tactful reply, without clearly expressing that he deserved the award. His argument relied upon the two ROTY frontrunners having different roles.

Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

While Wembanyama is the centerpiece of the Spurs’ squad, Holmgren has usually been the second or third option on the dominant Thunder side. Wemby’s Spurs were among the bottom feeders in the West this season, while Chet’s Thunder finished as the top speed. Therefore, the ROTY competition has various layers to it that needed consideration.

Alluding to that, the Thunder rookie gave props to Wemby, while giving a nuanced perspective on the issue. First of all, credit to Wemby, and what he’s doing. Having the argument of winning versus not winning versus sacrificing for the team versus someone having more opportunity versus what some might think higher level players on the team versus not. That doesn’t discredit what he’s doing and what I’m doing. I think we’re both having great years…the [ROTY] voting is in the eye of the beholder,” Chet Holmgren told Rich Kleiman.

The ROTY candidate admitted that the race would be decided by how the voters view the whole season and the narratives that will prevail. However, the Thunder star is certainly more focused on the postseason than the regular season awards.

A statistical comparison between the ROTY frontrunners

Chet and Wemby clashed three times during the 2023-24 season. In those three games against OKC, Wembanyama lodged 20 points, 13 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 3.7 blocks, and 1 steal per game, per StatMuse. On February 29, he scored a season high in points against Holmgren, registering 28 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 blocks, and 2 steals in a 132-118 win for the Spurs. 

Meanwhile, against the Spurs, the Thunder’s 7’1” Center compiled 16.3 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.6 blocks, and 1 steals per game, per StatMuse. His season-high in scoring against the Spurs came when he had 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists in a 118-132 loss. However, that was the only loss for the Thunder against Wemby’s squad.

They had a head-to-head edge of 2-1 in the season series. While these stats favor Wembanyama by a big margin, the French phenom has the license to operate freely for the Spurs. As for Holmgren, he has had to work in a winning system. However, at any rate, we may be witnessing the birth of an incredible rivalry. 

Post Edited By:Satagni Sikder

About the author

Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh


Shubham Singh is an NBA Journalist at SportsRush. He found his passion in Writing when he couldn't fulfil his dream of playing professional basketball. Shubham is obsessed with box scores and also loves to keep track of advanced stats and is, particularly, fond of writing CoreSport analytical pieces. In the league, his all time favorites were 80s Bad Boys, Pistons, while Dennis Rodman and his enthralling rebounding made him love the game more. It also made him realize that the game is much more than fancy scoring and playmaking. Shubham is also a huge fan of cricket and loves to watch all forms of women sports.

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