MANILA, Philippines – San Antonio Spurs living legend Manu Ginobili has announced his retirement from the NBA on Tuesday, August 28 (Philippine time).
The 41-year-old Argentinian guard was earlier reported to have held talks with long-tenured head coach Gregg Popovich on his career options. Less than two months before the start of the new season, the decision was made:
Today, with a wide range of feelings, I'm announcing my retirement from basketball. IMMENSE GRATITUDE to everyone (family, friends, teammates, coaches, staff, fans) involved in my life in the last 23 years. It's been a fabulous journey. Way beyond my wildest dreams. pic.twitter.com/3MLCUtmd6K — Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) August 27, 2018
San Antonio Spurs guard @manuginobili today announced that he will retire after a 23-year professional career. #GraciasManu More: https://t.co/ZljcZ2KGOR pic.twitter.com/M19pA1pywX — San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) August 27, 2018
Ginobili's retirement marks the last departure of Popovich's original championship Big Three, with 2007 Finals MVP Tony Parker already signed with the Charlotte Hornets and three-time Finals MVP Tim Duncan already retired since 2016.
Even the Spurs' newer superstar Kawhi Leonard had already been traded to the Toronto Raptors for DeMar DeRozan.
Aside from being a four-time NBA Champion, two-time All-Star and 2008 Sixth Man of the Year, Ginobili was also crucial to Argentina’s 2004 Olympic gold medal win over Italy.
With Ginobili playing alongside former Houston Rockets forward Luis Scola, Argentina routed the Italians, 84-69, while the almighty Team USA was relegated to a bronze finish.
Throughout his career, the 6-foot-6 floor general rose to stardom by providing a reliable spark off the bench and dazzling crowds with deceptive athleticism and passing wizardry.
He also popularized the use of the Eurostep, a move still within the repertoires of MVP-caliber stars like James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
Ginobili finishes his 16-year career with averages 13.3 points, 3.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game with 708 out of 1057 games coming off the bench. – Rappler.com