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Manu Ginobili, despite previous consideration, unlikely to retire after season

Mar 25, 2014, 12:16 PM EST

Manu Ginobili, Derrick Favors

Manu Ginobili struggled through most the 2013 NBA Finals while looking very old in the process. He considered retiring, but the Spurs signed him to a two-year, $14.5 million contract.

Even then, retirement remained on his mind.

Sam Amick of USA Today:

He wasn’t sure that he would ever actually play the second year of that deal. Because Manu struggled so badly last season, he thought seriously about retirement. But with the way Manu is playing now, he told me last week, he’s pretty sure we’re going to see him again next season.

The 36-year-old Ginobili has come back strong, averaging 12.5 points on 47 percent shooting and 4.4 assists in 23.1 minutes per game. San Antonio’s already solid offense (104.0 points per 100 possessions) rises to elite levels when he plays (114.4).

It really seems the Spurs are geared to making title runs this year and next. Ginobili, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard – and role players Danny Green and Marco Belinelli – have contracts that expire after next season.

Somehow, San Antonio is 54-16 and holds the NBA’s best record. Anyone who thought they’d be too old this season, including Ginobili, has been proven wrong. This team can absolutely win the 2014 championship.

Will the Spurs finally be too old in 2014-15? Maybe, but as this season showed, it’s worth everyone coming back one more year to find out.

  1. casualcommenter - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    “Will the Spurs finally be too old in 2014-15?”

    Really depends on key guys like Tiago Splitter, Kawhi Leonard, and Danny Green ideally continuing to grow as players, and Tony Parker continuing to play at a high level.

    Sometimes, I feel like people forget Parker is a full 5 years younger than either Duncan or Ginobili when they talk about the Spurs being old. Parker is only 1.5 years older than LeBron. The Spurs overall aren’t old. It’s 2 key members of the Spurs who are old, Duncan and Manu.

    So we’ve already seen that the Spurs’ system is very tough to stop, almost regardless of who is playing, during the regular season when teams have limited time to practice and prepare. However, in the playoffs against well-prepared and coached opponents, the Spurs need guys who can compromise defenses by being difficult to guard one-on-one. As Duncan and Manu eventually stop being guys who can do that, it’s important that Leonard, Splitter, and Green take over those roles. If those younger guys develop into those roles, the Spurs can continue being an elite team for several more years.

  2. Zammael - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    GINOBILI!

    Had to redeem himself after that horrible performance in the NBA finals last year.

  3. alan2014boyd - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Good see him come back strong. Be good see them in finals next 2 years, hopefully win one again.

  4. therealhtj - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    The most remarkable thing about this Spurs organization is that none of these dudes has demanded max money nor sought it elsewhere, besides Timmy, and he’s been giving them discounts pretty much after his first giant contract.

    They may have some lean times after Timmy and Manu retire, with Parker not too far behind, but the sustained run they’ve had with guys who completely bought into their system is nothing short of amazing. Really big respect to that entire organization.

    • zerole00 - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:43 PM

      That’s the benefit of building a loyal relationship from the draft to retirement. The players, coach, and front office trust each other and the team’s “team philosophy” allows them to avoid silly pitfalls like ego. The Spurs generally draft well and do an even better job of growing their players.

      • therealhtj - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:28 PM

        It’s not like other teams haven’t drafted and been loyal to their stars – OKC comes to mind. But when the time came, they had to max ALL their guys – something the Spurs managed to avoid with Parker and Ginobli. Soon as the Thunder had to pay Harden, he was gone. They were lucky to get Ibaka at a bit below max, but they couldn’t afford to keep the entire gang together.

        It’s doubtful with the modern CBA you get max guys willing to play at a discount so what they’ve accomplished may never be seen again.

  5. mnsadsportsfan - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    Yeah why retire just wait until the nba championship than you can greatly under perform and be completely out matched.

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