Manu Ginóbili has been part of the San Antonio Spurs organization since 1999. A late second-round pick (57th), Ginóbili didn’t go on to make his NBA debut until the 2002 season. And since then, he’s been playing year in and year out for 16 seasons. For all his efforts, he’s a two-time All-Star and All-NBA representative. He’s also a four-time champion. In other words, there’s not much left for Ginóbili to do at the NBA level.
Which brings us to the point.
After 16 years in the NBA, Ginóbili is considering retirement according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“Ginóbili, 41, has been working out regularly in the Spurs practice facility in preparation for the season, but within almost a month of training camp, he still hasn’t committed to returning for his 17th season.”
Woj also notes that the Argentinian plans to meet with head coach Gregg Popovich in the coming days. Tim Duncan is already gone, of course. Tony Parker plays for the Charlotte Hornets now. If Ginóbili retires, that’s it. It’s the end of an era. But again, he is 41 years old. The fact that he’s considering retirement isn’t all that surprising to hear.
In the meantime, the Spurs are coming off a 47-35 season. And while they made the playoffs for the 21st year in a row, it would be the first time since 1999 that they didn’t win at least 50 games. Kawhi Leonard is on the Toronto Raptors now. The hits just keep coming. There’s a case to be made that last season was Popovich’s best as a head coach. That’s where we’re at with the Spurs.
Ginóbili doesn’t owe us anything, though. He doesn’t owe Popovich and the Spurs anything either. Even in his age-40 season, he put up 16 points, 4.5 assists and 3.9 rebounds per 36 minutes. If this is it, it’s been one heckuva career.