Was that Manu Ginobili’s final game at the AT&T Center for the San Antonio Spurs? Possibly, but who knows.
Game 4 of the 2017 Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Each Manu Ginobili shot attempt and check-in drew an ovation from the San Antonio Spurs faithful who thought it was his final game. The Spurs were down 0-3 and got tossed out of the playoffs. Speculation did not end until July when Ginobili announced he would return for a 16th NBA season.
Well, Game 4 of the 2018 first-round series between the Spurs and Warriors happened Sunday. Ginobili entered potentially his final game at the AT&T Center, with San Antonio also down 0-3 in the series. This time, though, the Silver and Black prevailed, along with a memorable late-game performance from the Argentinian star.
Ginobili’s 10 fourth-quarter points rocked the house, hitting baskets in the paint and nailing outside shots. It was not just another turn-back-the-clock moment for the 40-year-old legend, but maybe, the final one for the fans.
— NBA (@NBA) April 22, 2018
Fans graced Ginobili with ovations for each check-in and basket scored, as they still do not know of his intention for a 17th season. If it is anything like the 2017 offseason, the wait may take until July, again.
Ginobili’s latest, and maybe final, playoff win earned him a place in history, too. He and Tony Parker are the NBA’s winningest duo in postseason history. They beat Parker and Tim Duncan‘s mark that ended in 2016 when the Big Fundamental retired.
With tonight’s win, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili become the winningest duo in NBA Playoff History.
Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili (132)Tim Duncan and Tony Parker (131)Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili (126)Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher (123)Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen (117) pic.twitter.com/9s2S679DcT
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 22, 2018
Ginobili has another chance to extend this in Tuesday’s Game 5. It will be at Oracle Arena, however — a place San Antonio struggled at in Game 1 and 2. This could be his final playoff game, unless that two-year deal sees its second part happen, and a chance to leave his mark in the postseason. If not, Spurs fans will see him in Game 6.