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Popovich says Ginobili has same competitive fire as Kobe, Jordan

Apr 18, 2012, 3:38 PM EDT

Spurs Ginobili shoots past Celtics Stiemsma in the first half of their NBA basketball game at TD Garden in Boston Reuters

If you remember Spike Lee’s “Kobe Doin’ Work” film, you remember Kobe Bryant praising Manu Ginobili. — “That’s a bad boy right there.” It was respect.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has more than respect for the Argentinian. Popovich was talking with Marc Spears of Yahoo about Ginobili (via and how he is the key to their playoff run this year. The Spurs are a threat to Oklahoma City, they are a threat to everyone — but Ginobili has to be on top of his game.

Popovich compared Ginobili’s competitiveness to players as driven as the game has ever seen.

“He has the same love of winning and maniacal approach to competitiveness,” Popovich said. “It’s the same as Michael and Kobe have.

“He doesn’t have the same athletic ability. But he has the same spirit and competitiveness that they do. He has a high basketball IQ like they do in the sense that it could be an offensive board, a 3-point shot, a drive, a steal, an assist to win a basketball game. He knows what it takes. If you combine that IQ and that competitiveness, he’s a special person.”

That he is. Combined with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker they can play some special basketball, and this year with them healthy and a quality supporting cast around them — Kawhi Leonard, DeJuan Blair, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Stephen Jackson, Matt Bonner — they can make some noise.

But it all hinges on Ginobili. That’s a bad boy right there.

  1. teehov843 - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    No Comment!

  2. funktron2x - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Most underrated player in the league.

  3. skids003 - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Kobe has the greatest will to shoot…… oh, sorry, you mean win.

  4. ragingmouse - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:42 PM


  5. rexismybff - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    And Bill Schoening, voice of the Spurs, screams into the microphone: “Thats a Manu Tres!”

  6. foozool13 - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    ginobli is a great player without a doubt and a top 5 clutch player in the nba for sure…you could put him in the argument of best european ever with drik, sebonis, etc..

  7. lemfax - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    With the help of the Silent warrior. That’s the key for the brilliant NBA exit of Tim Duncan. SPURS!!!

  8. foozeball - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    For their careers, Kobe averages 19.6 FGA per game, Lebron averages 20.4 FGA per game, and MJ averaged 22.9 FGA per game.

    I’m sorry, but who shoots a lot?

    • dadaboi - Apr 19, 2012 at 2:50 AM

      Yeah but MJ and Lebron have always been the best players on their respective teams. Naturally they would have a lot of attempts. I remember that for the first 5 or 6 years of Kobe’s career he wasn’t their best player; he was the Robin to the Batman.

      • connaniii - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        What does this and the above comment have to do with Ginobilli?

    • skids003 - Apr 19, 2012 at 8:29 AM

      And that average continues to climb.

  9. lakerluver - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Maybe he does. Too bad he doesn’t have their skill set.

  10. lakerluver - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    @skids003, the Kobe hate is old and tired. Sorta like yourself. 5 rings and a career that’s worthy of him being recognized as arguably the second best two guard ever trumps your stupidity.

  11. gavinbethell - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    I like him but come on let’s not get carried away

  12. fouldwimmerlaik - Apr 19, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Manu is part of the most underrated Big Three.

    But hey, at least they got more rings together than other Big Three’s.

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