Manu Ginobili is in his final contract year with the San Antonio Spurs. Over the summer he retired from international play and many believe his time in the NBA is drawing near.
On Christmas Day, Manu Ginobili and the Spurs take on the Chicago Bulls and Jimmy Butler already has an idea on what the Spurs may do for the Argentinian once he decides to hang it up.
“His career speaks for itself as well. Like Tim Duncan, he’ll probably have his jersey retired as well. The way that he plays the game is so smooth and he makes everything look easy. He does everything so well. Shoot it, attack the rim. He’s athletic, he can pass it, and everybody seems to have fun while playing with him. I’d say more than anything, the role he plays is so big, coming off the bench when he knows that he is a starter. But [starting] is not what his team asks from him, and he plays that [reserve] role to a tee. He’s a huge part of that success. He’s always a big part in the winning.”
Respectful words from Butler whom has had battles with Ginobili and the Spurs during his career. Ginobili does at times, make things look easy on the floor. What he continues to do, at his age, at this point in his career have many come up with the saying, “Manu Gonna Manu.”
From the start of his career to this point now, Ginobili has always played the game the same way. With heart, and passion. Usually you could see a decline in the player of athletes as their time is coming to an end but Ginobili, continues to impress and have people shaking their heads in disbelief.
Continuing to dissect the words from Butler, Ginobili has played the reserve role to a tee. During his 15 year career (947 games), Ginobili has started 349 times. Over the last three seasons, he has come off the bench continuing to provide the energy for a Spurs team that has won 23 of their 28 games.
He is an extension on what coach Gregg Popovich is doing for the team. Popovich can’t be on the floor so having the luxury of having the players on the team that buy into the process is a perk. Ginobili has been a huge part in that.
Butler’s comments are genuine, and frankly, spot on. There is no doubt that Ginobili has been a key piece to the Spurs championship runs.
One day, we should see the No. 20 hanging right beside Duncan’s No. 21 leaving room right next to another player that helped form the ‘Big 3’.
That is left for another day. Right now, Ginobili is still playing and continuing to do what he does, after-all, Manu is gonna Manu.