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Manu Ginobili admits he thought he might retire after season

Jul 29, 2013, 3:22 PM EDT

BKN-NBA-FINALS-SPURS-HEAT-GAME 7 Getty Images

If the San Antonio Spurs had not decided to bring Manu Ginobili back, he might well be in Argentina right now trying to figure out what to do next with his life.

He wanted to come back. Turns out the Spurs wanted him back. But after the devastating NBA Finals loss by the Spurs, he wasn’t sure what the franchise had planned going forward. He wasn’t sure they wanted him back.

He confirmed to Mike Monroe of the Express-News that the idea he may retire crossed his mind after an eight-turnover Game 6 when the Spurs let the NBA title slip through their hands.

Ginobili acknowledged some dark days in the immediate aftermath of the NBA Finals, when he wondered if his desire to play could be at the same high level that has characterized his career…. He gave momentary consideration to retirement….

“After the Finals and after the first of July, I just wanted to hear from R.C. (Buford, Spurs GM) and (coach Gregg Popovich) what their plans were,” Ginobili said. “I wanted to hear if they wanted to keep the group together. You never know.

“R.C. said he wanted me back, and then there was nothing else to say. I was sure after the first talk that I was going to stay.”

The Spurs showed last season they are not too old to compete with the best, not with a good set of role players around them. They are going to take a couple more cracks at this thing.

That said, expect Ginobili’s role to shrink a little. He is capable of big games (see Game 5 of the Finals) but he’s not as consistent as he once was. That said, most nights he brings enough clever plays off the bench to really help the Spurs.

In the summer of 2015 Ginobili, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker’s deals are up. That’s when the Spurs will start their rebuild. It is very likely when Ginobili retires. Maybe Duncan.

But for two more seasons, the Spurs are going to take a swing at it and see if they can take that one more step they were just short last season.

  1. grindhousegazette - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    If he continues playing like he did during the last two games of the NBA Finals he might wish he had retired. I don’t think he has a whole lot left in the tank but I could be wrong. Tim Duncan might continue playing longer and at a higher level than him at this rate.

    @grindhousegaz

  2. 00maltliquor - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    S hit I would too if I knew I cost my team a Championship trophy against the biggest “David” team alive in a game 6 this far into my career.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:09 PM

      Oh what, is it not TRUE!? ^

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        Malt, my SoCal friend: I think the thumbs downs are based on two things:

        1) Manu has many loyal fans regardless of his bad series against the Heat
        2) Manu didn’t lose the series all by himself. Yes, he played terribly, especially for him, but only he can decide if he should retire.

        Manu has always been a winner, and it’s a little “bandwagony” to all of a sudden retire the guy. The agony of defeat effected him a lot more than us.

  3. 2late2matter - Jul 30, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    One factor not disclosed has been Manu’s continued International play, which has left more wear and tear on his body, than that on Duncan or Parker. He’s double medaled (2004, 2008) playing for the Argentinian National Olympics team.

    Were Manu not to play so much “off” season basketball and allow his body to rest and heal, he could be more fresh and efficient for the NBA Spurs.

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