Manu Ginobili has been a member of the Spurs for his entire 16-year NBA career and it’s far from a guarantee that he returns for a 17th season. As Ginobili prepares for the postseason, his teammates and coaches are enjoying his presence and contributions while they still can, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News writes in a lengthy feature.
The 40-year-old played in 65 games off the bench for the Spurs this season, averaging a modest 8.9 PPG and 2.5 RPG. However, his impact in his native Argentina and as a member of the Spurs in San Antonio has resonated for nearly two decades. Head coach Gregg Popovich is among those who tries to honor Ginobili’s career as it winds down.
“I try to touch him before every game and remember what he’s meant to us over the years and how significant a factor he has been in our success,” Popovich said. “I think I’m enjoying him more than ever because I feel like I’m about to lose him.”
Check out more Southwest Division notes below:
- When Kyrie Irving demanded a trade last offseason, the Spurs were one of four teams that Irving was reportedly interested in. However, in retrospect, not making a trade for the All-Star point guard was a good move, Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News opines. While Irving’s talent made a trade enticing, his recent season-ending knee surgery paired with Kawhi Leonard‘s lost season would have made for a disappointing year, Finger writes.
- During a recent appearance on the Hard in the Paint podcast, Pelicans’ point guard Jrue Holiday spoke glowingly of teammate Rajon Rondo, stating that he belongs in the Hall of Fame and has a future after his playing days, Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype writes. “In my opinion, yes,” Holiday said of Rondo deserving to be inducted. “He is a coach and a GM. He’d be very similar to Doc Rivers.”
- The Rockets finished the season with the best record in the Western Conference and are poised to put up a strong fight for a championship. However, even if the Rockets fail to win a title, head coach Mike D’Antoni said their season can still be cherished, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk writes.