Ginobili retires with Spurs
Manu Ginobili has played his final game, and with that a new era awaits the San Antonio Spurs.
Ginobili announced his decision to retire Monday, the 41-year-old wrapping up what he called a “fabulous journey” in which he helped the Spurs win four NBA championships in 16 seasons with the club.
The smooth left-handed guard from Argentina came to San Antonio in 2002, forming what quickly became a powerful “Big 3” alongside Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. Now, they’ve all moved on: Duncan retired two years ago, Parker left San Antonio earlier this summer as a free agent to sign with the Charlotte Hornets, and Ginobili has worn Spurs colors for the last time as well.
“Today, with a wide range of feelings, I’m announcing my retirement from basketball,” Ginobili wrote on Twitter in making the announcement. “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.”
The image Ginobili chose to accompany that tweet: A photo of him walking off the floor, away from the camera, with four fingers aloft — signifying his four titles.
Getting enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame would seem like a certainty for Ginobili. He averaged 13.3 points and 3.8 assists in 1,057 regular-season games. He was a two-time All-Star and was the league’s Sixth Man of the Year for the 2007-08 season, plus he teamed with Popovich for 135 playoff wins — the third-highest total for any player-coach combo in NBA history.