Manu Ginobili admitted that his decision to retire was painstaking and that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich tried to convince him to play another year. “I am very sure about the decision, it’s still awkward,” Ginobili said during a press conference that was relayed by NBA.com. “But my finger shaked a lot before hitting that enter (button). It wasn’t an easy decision.”
Popovich was hoping that he could change Ginobili’s mind but realized quickly that his longtime sixth man wasn’t going to budge.
“He briefly tried to convince me. He saw me very convinced,” Ginobili said. “I guess he saw it right away. He respected my decision, of course, and we had a great talk.”
Ginobili announced his retirement on August 27th. The deciding factor was the lack of desire to go through the rigors of an 82-game regular season one more time.
“I couldn’t see my body doing through that kind of grind again,” he said. “When I came back here and came to workout a little bit to lift or bike or whatever, I saw Bryn (Forbes), I saw Dejounte (Murray) and some of the guys working out and preparing for the season and I was so far from that. That’s when I said, ‘For sure, this is it.’ There was a little bit of that door opened, but it closed pretty quick.”
Ginobili, 41, was the 57th overall pick in the 1999 draft. The Argentinian played overseas for three more seasons, then joined the Spurs in 2002, spending the next 16 years with the franchise.
Over the course of his NBA career, Ginobili appeared in 1,057 regular season contests, averaging 13.3 PPG, 3.8 APG, and 3.5 RPG. He also played in 218 more postseason contests, winning four championships with the Spurs. A two-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA player, the Argentinian shooting guard was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2008.