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Spurs’ Manu Ginobili says he is “98% certain” his international playing career is over

Aug 11, 2014, 12:32 AM EDT

Manu Ginobili AP

The Spurs are not letting Manu Ginobili play for Argentina in the World Cup this summer. He is getting over a stress fracture, one he admitted was still bothering him during workouts, and the Spurs took the decision out of his hands and denied him the right to play (which they can do because of the injury).

That likely means the end of international play for the 37-year-old future Hall of Famer.

He said as much speaking with La Nacion paper in Argentina, as transcribed by Reuters.

“Today, I can say for almost certain, 98%, that I won’t play any more (for Argentina),” the 37-year-old said in an interview with the Buenos Aires daily La Nacion published on Saturday…

“If I’d played this tournament it would have been the last, that’s sure It’s hard and it always will be to retire from this (Argentina) team,” said Ginobili, a member of his country’s so-called golden generation.

There is a lot more pressure on international players such as Ginobili or Dirk Nowitzki or Tony Parker to play for their national teams than there is on American players. The fact is in the USA if one top player can’t go for whatever reason we fill in that spot with someone of quality — Paul George goes down and Rudy Gay gets added to the roster. No other country has that kind of depth. When Nowitzki or Parker chooses not to play for their countries, there is a dramatic drop off. They get pressured to play almost every summer.

But that takes a real toll on the bodies of these guys over time.

Ginobili may understand it’s time to walk away, but that’s different from actually walking away. It’s hard. He’s been at the heart of a team of guys — Pablo Prigioni, Luis Scola, Fabricio Oberto, Carlos Delfino — that brought a lot of glory to Argentinian basketball. Ginobili cares too much for this to be easy. Hence the two precent he left the door open.

But he gets the time has past.

  1. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    I can’t believe I have to keep saying this but… Argentina will win every gold until Walter Herrmann retires. Sit this one out Emanu, Argentina is in good hands. Gigantic, good hands.

  2. macka4 - Aug 11, 2014 at 2:49 AM

    As a Spurs fan, I’m happy

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Aug 11, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      I found a Spurs fan! (that I’m guessing is not from SA or TX)

  3. mungman69 - Aug 11, 2014 at 4:54 AM

    Yes, good move. The dude is getting older.

  4. norcalkingsfan - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    Dude is from Argentina. So isn’t the NBA considered his international career?

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      Is that a serious question

      • norcalkingsfan - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:41 AM

        Not really; just making an observation about the flawed title, in question form.

      • norcalkingsfan - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:50 AM

        Techincally, yours isn’t a serious question either, at least without one of these ———-> ?

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 11, 2014 at 4:46 PM

      Haha good point. Gave me a laugh too. I guess you’re right that playing for the Spurs is more international for Manu than Argentina… but then playing for Argentina actually has him playing different nations across different nations.

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