NBA Rumor: Manu Ginobili Retirement

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The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they will retire Manu Ginobili’s No. 20 jersey on Thursday, March 28 when the Silver and Black host the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7:30 p.m. CDT. A special postgame ceremony honoring Ginobili will take place on the AT&T Center floor and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Southwest and streamed live on FOX Sports GO. Ginobili will become the ninth player in Spurs franchise history to have his number raised to the rafters, joining Bruce Bowen (12), Tim Duncan (21), Sean Elliott (32), George Gervin (44), Avery Johnson (6), Johnny Moore (00), David Robinson (50) and James Silas (13). In 16 seasons with the Spurs, Ginobili captured four NBA championships while posting a career winning percentage of .721 (762-295), which is the best winning percentage in NBA history among players who have appeared in at least 1,000 games.

Aide from the physical aspect of playing another season, Ginobili cited his family saying he asked his wife and kids about retiring or not and for his oldest, Nico, it came down to chicken fingers. “When we asked the kids what did they think, if they were excited that dad is not going to be traveling as much … ‘But I don’t want you to retire dad,’ Nico my oldest. Really? Maybe he has a point. Why? ‘Well the chicken tenders in the family room are awesome,” Manu said.

Danny Green: Man(u) Oh man(u), where do I start…first I want to congratulate you on a hell of a career. From the time I watched you from home while I was in high school to becoming your teammate, you’ve always been one of my favorite players. It was always an aspiration to be half as good as you. I’ve learned so much from you over these last 8 seasons that made me a better player and person…still trying to get that eurostep in my game, but my hips won’t let me lol! I always hated the fact that you came off the bench and that you subbed in for me because I had the most fun when I shared the court with you. Your approach & passion for every game, practice and everything that you did has inspired so many, including myself. You are the ultimate warrior and a true champion! I’ve been extremely blessed to share a locker room with you and to be able to call you my friend and brother. It sucks to see you go, but a complete honor to have played with you for your last game. I wish you well in your next chapter and tell my favorite guys in the Spurs arena (your sons) i will miss them on the sidelines cheering for us, especially Luca lol. Much Love Gramps and hope to see you on the sidelines again sometime soon! @manuginobili 🙏🏾💯

3 years ago via ESPN

“I can’t say this was a hasty or unexpected decision,” Ginobili wrote. “I’m 41 years old. I’ve been stretching a little bit this basketball thing, right? In my head, last season was at all times ‘the last one.’ I never said it publicly because I didn’t want to limit my options. I wanted to leave the door open for any changes in my mind or to see if I still felt the physical and mental strength needed to face a new season. “I was sure to make it clear to [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich] this is not a ‘goodbye, I’ll see you,'” he added. “My kids have already started school, and while I’m in town, I’ll be close to the team and the franchise. I can’t help anymore by taking a charge or with a steal, but I’ll try to contribute somehow. I appreciate all my teammates, the staff and all the people in the team. I want the best for the Spurs. If I can help, I will do it with pleasure.”

Brent Barry who did play alongside Manu for many seasons and won a title with him, spoke about how good Manu was, even with playing alongside Tim Duncan and David Robinson, with SiriusXM NBA Radio. “That’s one of the biggest misnomers about how good Manu Ginobili was, is that as much as Tim [Duncan] was the foundation of the franchise’s success, and David [Robinson] before him, Manu was the guy that players, and coaches, when it was time, would lean the most.”

Ginobili indicated he is open to having some sort of role with the Spurs. “What I made clear to Pop is that it’s not ‘Ciao, I’m leaving,’ ” he wrote. “My children have already started classes and while I’m in town I’ll be close to the team and the franchise. Maybe I cannot help (anymore) by taking a (charge) or (with a steal) or something, but I’ll try to add in what I can. I have a great appreciation for my teammates, for the staff and all the people on the team and I want it to go as well as possible. If I can help from the outside, I will do it with pleasure.”

The Spurs would like Ginobili to return after losing fellow future Hall of Famer Tony Parker and swingman Kyle Anderson in free agency and trading former face-of-the-franchise forward Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Toronto Raptors. But the Spurs would not be surprised if Ginobili draws the curtain on his legendary career.

Ginobili's retirement decision coming next week?

The older brother of Manu Ginobili hinted Saturday the Spurs guard could announce this week whether he plans to play another season. “The 20th hasn’t even reported if he’s still playing. I imagine there will be news next week,” Sepo Ginobili said at a basketball clinic, per a tweet from Spanish-language broadcaster Carlos Altamirano. Ginobili, 41, is under contract for the 2018-19 season, which would be his 17th season with the Spurs.

Soon, perhaps in the next few days, Ginobili will post a message on the Internet announcing his intentions for next season, and it will be a surprise if those intentions do not include continuing to allow Gregg Popovich to fulfill his vow to squeeze every last drop out of him like a tube of toothpaste. Ginobili has said, over and over again, that his main two criteria for prolonging his NBA career revolve around whether he’s enjoying himself and whether the team wants him around, and both of those boxes still appear to be checked. He played with as much joy in the April playoff loss to Golden State as a rookie, and with Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard gone, his corporate knowledge is more valuable than ever.

Do you see him coming back next season? Fabricio Oberto: What I want to see, having a friendship and relationship with him, is for him to be happy. I think at this point he has nothing left to prove, but he is so competitive you see he can still help the team. I would say I always want to see him play, let him play for 100 more years, but I think there are priorities, life changes. We have to wait and see what he’s going to do. It’s a decision so personal that having an opinion about it, even when you have the knowledge and the trust to talk about things, it’s not relevant.
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