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Duncan, Parker upset at criticism Ginobili received before his breakout Game 5 performance

Jun 17, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

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SAN ANTONIO — The Spurs are a family now, with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and head coach Gregg Popovich having been together since the 2003 season.

Family protects its own, which explains why Duncan and Parker weren’t at all happy with the level of criticism that Ginobili had been receiving through the first four games of the NBA Finals.

Ginobili had a breakout performance in Game 5, of course, and was the catalyst in his team’s big win that has them just one game from an NBA title. But he had been essentially nonexistent in the series until this point, and despite his history with the franchise, the comments that outsiders were making regarding Ginobili’s play were beginning to bother some of the team’s core players.

“Yeah, of course,” Parker said, when asked if he was upset with the level of negativity being lobbed in his teammate’s direction. “Because for everything he did for the franchise, I thought it was a little bit too harsh. We understand it’s a business, but he came out big tonight. I was very happy for him.”

Duncan was similarly irritated by the volume of harsh words directed at Ginobili.

“A tremendous amount,” Duncan answered, when asked how much the recent criticisms of Ginobili bothered him. “We’re not a team or an organization that kind of points fingers in that respect. I know it’s on the media to find out what’s wrong with everybody, what happened whatever game, but he’s such a huge part of what we do, and how far we’ve come. And you can see it tonight in how we played and the results of the game.

“So we’re always confident in him. We don’t look at the stats and say, hey, it’s his fault or his fault or his fault. We know he has it in him and we hope he can bring it for at least one more win.”

For his part, Ginobili seemed to grow increasingly aware of the mounting criticism, but tried to block it out as much as possible to focus on his next performance.

“I really don’t know exactly what was going on, but with so much media around, they ask you things that you are not used to answering,” Ginobili said. “So that’s when you realize you’re being criticized. But I really don’t read what’s going on. I knew that I was not scoring much, and I felt it in the air. But I tried not to care about it.

“I’m critical enough of myself to be worrying about what other people say. So as I was telling before, I was frustrated enough knowing how I played and what I could do better. So I really didn’t need to listen what other people were saying or be reading about it.”

The criticism may have bothered his teammates, and it may have even been justified. But all of that is behind Ginobili now, with his Game 5 performance being the main reason the Spurs are just one win away from another NBA title.

  1. wizkidshoes - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    If they are a family, they should call Popovich mom.

  2. patfic15 - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    Such a difference in all styles…media responses included. If this were James or Wade, I would get to hear about what a better place the world is when the Heat lose…or how no matter the end result, we, normal people, still have to get up and go to work the next morning.

  3. brotherlove2012 - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    It’s a lot different from Lebron pointing fingers at Bosh and Wade at the beginning of the series … It’s one thing to say you’re unselfish, it’s another thing to prove it when it counts.

  4. cantonbound13 - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    It’s such a shame that the real big 3, with 4 rings, don’t get the respect & coverage the espn 3 do.

  5. loungefly74 - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    on the “big stage”…everything is magnified. no one should be in shock of the criticism Manu received…lets face it, before game 5, not a whole of the “Manu” we would normally see. what do you do to make them shut up? have a heck of a game and win!

  6. true15 - Jun 17, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Manu Ginobili will and always will the player he is head-scratching shots, half court no look passes, euro step and thats just what makes the player he is (greatness). give us 2 more years Manu atleast until we could find another player like you. since houston lock down (james harden) aka ginobili #2

  7. kanemoney - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    GI-NO-BI-LI!!!

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