Spurs’ Manu Ginobili, 41, Retires After 16 Seasons; NBA Figures And Fans React
On Monday, veteran San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili announced his retirement from the NBA after 16 seasons.
The 41-year-old Argentine guard revealed the new on Twitter: “IMMENSE GRATITUDE to everyone (family, friends, teammates, coaches, staff, fans) involved in my life in the last 23 years,” Ginobili wrote. “It’s been a fabulous journey. Way beyond my wildest dreams.”
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
Ginobili played his entire NBA career with the Spurs, and is the franchise’s all-time leader in steals. Before arriving in San Antonio, he played seven years in basketball leagues in Argentina and Italy.
The two-time All-Star is the third Spur to leave the team this year. Last month, fellow veteran Tony Parker — who came to San Antonio in 2001, just one year before Ginobili — signed with the Charlotte Hornets in free agency, while star forward Kawhi Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors for DeMar DeRozan.
The Spurs also lost two-time MVP and 15-time All-Star center Tim Duncan in 2016 after a 19-year career. Ginobili, Parker, Leonard and Duncan all helped lead San Antonio to an NBA title in 2014 under Gregg Popovich, who has coached the squad for 22 full seasons. The team has not won a national championship since then, which suggests the Spurs may need to rebuild their roster in oder to ensure their best days aren’t behind them.
Ginobili also helped lead San Antonio to three other NBA titles: in 2003, 2005 and 2007.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) July 28, 2018
Ginobili also enjoyed great success internationally: he helped Argentina win a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, and then a bronze medal at the 2008 Games in Beijing.
Known for his aggressive playing style, Ginobili also won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2008. It thus seems like the Argentine has more than enough accomplishments under his belt to merit becoming a Hall of Famer, something many NBA figures, pundits and fans are already predicting. Leading the franchise in steals alone already seems like a solid enough reason.
Here are some of the top reactions and tributes to the Argentine star from around the NBA:
I competed against you for 9 years. I sat through countless pregame meetings discussing how not to let you go to your left hand because when you do, you’re impossible to stop! Then, I became your teammate and got to witness first hand how you bring way more value to a team than pic.twitter.com/JJYbvXNToE
— LaMarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) August 27, 2018
Congrats @manuginobili on an amazing career. Great player. Fierce competitor. Winner. Next stop: HOF
— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) August 27, 2018
One of the all time greats. Fearless, funny, compassionate and competitive as hell. Thank you Manu! https://t.co/eZ61cWRvGb
— Steve Kerr (@SteveKerr) August 27, 2018
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) August 27, 2018
— David Robinson (@DavidtheAdmiral) August 27, 2018
What a player @manuginobili! A pleasure to compete against you and enjoy your greatness. Congrats!
— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) August 27, 2018
Wow got to play with one of my favorite players in his last season. Thanks for all you did for the game gramps @manuginobili
— Rudy Gay (@RudyGay) August 27, 2018
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) August 27, 2018
@manuginobili , you were the main person I looked at when deciding I was gonna be a 6th man for good. Your style, talent, competitiveness, and will to win will be truly missed. Nothing but respect! #best6thman pic.twitter.com/gHsjX9yPvY
— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) August 27, 2018