Manu Ginobili understood their reasons, but was still hurt by the Spurs banning him from playing for Argentina in this year’s FIBA World Cup, Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News writes. San Antonio wanted Ginobili to rest in order to recover from the leg injury he suffered during this year’s playoffs. Ginobili had a meeting with the front office about his feelings, and he said, “I was hurt, probably still I’m hurt. Of course, I understand why they did it. I just didn’t like it, and I disagreed with it. That’s why I was thinking (about) all those scenarios. But the bottom line is, when I started practicing I was not feeling well. I didn’t think I was ready to compete at a high level, so I had to step down.”
Here’s more from San Antonio:
- Set to begin his 18th season in the NBA, Tim Duncan says the chance to compete for back-to-back NBA Championships is what drove him to return for another season with the Spurs, McCarney writes. Duncan said, “There was some hesitation there. But it came back to maybe being able to do (win the title) again. As long as I’m feeling I can, and I feel good about it, this is where I want to be.”
- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says the next stage in the development of Kawhi Leonard is mental, McCarney relays in a separate piece. “I’m probably going to talk to him more about consistency now,” Popovich said. “He’s reached a certain level and if you look at those last three games he played they were pretty special. But to be in that top echelon of players in our league it’s a huge responsibility to have to come and do that every night. The Duncans, the Durants, the James-es and all those kinds of guys do it night after night after night and it’s a huge responsibility.”
- The Spurs signed Aron Baynes using their mid-level exception, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link).