Manu Ginobili announced that he will be retiring after playing 16 years in the NBA. He will likely go down as one of the best international players of all-time and for sure has a real shot at the NBA’s Hall of Fame.
Looking back at the illustrious career of the lefty sharp-shooter, here are five of the best moments in Ginobili’s illustrious career:
1. Ring Me Now
It’s the 2005 NBA Finals and the San Antonio Spurs are going up against the Detroit Pistons. Ginobili had a performance for the ages despite not winning Finals MVP.
In that series, Ginobili was on full display as he put up 18 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. That may not sound too impressive, but this was back in 2005 and the playing style was slower than in today’s NBA. There was only one game that series in which a team broke the 100-point mark.
Current Bucks Coach Mike Budenholzer and Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford both believed that Ginobili should have been at least co-MVP. This title was the Spurs first title without David Robinson and third title in seven years.
2. It’s a Bat
What can go down as one of the weirdest scenarios in NBA history, in a game between the Spurs and Sacramento Kings in 2009, a bat was flying around the AT&T Center. This would cause play to be stopped.
Leave it to Ginobili to take care of it as he would swat the bat out of mid-air and would pick it up and hand it over to the trainer. After this, Ginobili would have to undergo 16 rabies shots.
3. The shot that hurt many
In Game 1 of the 2008 first round playoffs, the Phoenix Suns gave the Spurs all they could handle. The game goes into double overtime and Ginobili made some magic happen. He ends up weaving his way into the lane and stealing the game with a nifty layup.
What makes the game-winner special was the way Ginobili contorted his body as it looked like a floater and fade away at the same time while leaning to the side. Even though he was 10-24 from the field, this showed his desire to win and fearlessness in big moments.
4. “Get That Outta Here”
In the 2017 Western Conference Semis the Spurs went up against the Houston Rockets and as the game went into overtime.
The Rockets were down by three with seconds to go in the game as James Harden attempted to tie the game as Houston trailed by three.
Well, poor Harden ended up getting swatted cleanly by Ginobili as the Spurs won the game. This was one of Ginobili’s bravest moves and he knew Harden was going to attempt such a shot to send it into double overtime potentially. Had he been a few more inches too close, we would have seen Harden probably earn a trip to the line.
5. The Golden Year
In 2004, Ginobili led Argentina to a gold medal in the Olympics in Athens, Greece. This was the first time since 1952 that his home country won a gold medal. This came as a shock as many people predicted the United States to win as they were dominant in the Olympics, winning the previous three medals. However, Argentina would go on to defeat America in the semifinals and go on to defeat Italy in the final powered by the left-handed assassin.
This will go down as one of Manu’s greatest achievements, no other team besides America has won a gold medal since 2004.