There is no question that Manu Ginobili is one of the better international players in NBA history. The question is should the Argentinan guard be a hall of famer?
This question will surely pop up after his career is over. Ginobili is one of the better sixth men in NBA history, as he has only been a full time starter in two NBA seasons. One thing is certain: Ginobili is certainly an International Basketball Hall of Famer (FIBA). In 12 career NBA seasons, Ginobili has averages 14.7 points, 4 assists, and 3.8 rebounds. He is also a career 37% three point shooter and has a solid field goal % in his career (45%).
Ginobili has four NBA rings in his career with the Spurs, two all-star game appearances, two all-NBA third teams, and a sixth man of the year award. Ginobili has one of the better resumes in international basketball history. He was the Euroleague Finals MVP, Italian Cup MVP, and a two time Italian League MVP.
The fact that Ginobili began his NBA career at the age of 25, certainly hurts his resume a bit. His best individual seasons were in 2008 and 2011. In 2008 Ginobili made the all-NBA third team and he averaged 19.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. In 2011 he made the all-NBA third and all-star game, as he averaged 17.4 points and 4.9 assists.
Ginobili doesn’t have the numbers that most hall of famers have and his average defense certainly hurts his cause. But one edge that Ginobili has even over some superstar players in past years, is he comes up big in the hugest moments. A good example of this is the 2005 title run, in which he averaged 20.8 points and 5.8 rebounds or performances like the 33 points and 11 rebounds game he had in game six of the conference semifinals against Phoenix in 2011.
Being part of one of the most marvelous dynamic duos you will come across in basketball (Tony Parker and Tim Duncan), have certainly helped his cause, but there is no argument that the Spurs needed Ginobili to be at his best when it counted. As hard as it is for me to say this I believe that Ginobili’s lack of a monster season or two will keep him on the out of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. At the same time, it wouldn’t surprise me if he snuck in somehow as they will take his international career in consideration and that he was better in the playoffs than he was in the season in his career.