San Antonio Spurs: When Manu Ginobili’s name was flubbed on draft day

When went to the San Antonio Spurs in the 1999 NBA Draft, he did not receive the most pleasant introduction.

19 years ago, the San Antonio Spurs made Manu Ginobili the No. 57 overall pick on the 1999 NBA Draft. Not exactly a spot to find a home-run selection, but that’s what happened. It took him three years to arrive in the NBA, and it’s safe to say the wait was worth it.

16 years of all-star nods, championships, highlight-reel moments and other memories have filled up this time, and it’s hard to forget any of it, for Spurs fans. What about the long-lost day of Ginobili’s actual selection, however?

Leading up to the draft, the Spurs are celebrating the past selections of their players. Ginobili led off the countdown, and it featured the old footage of when the Silver and Black picked him. Although, based on the pronunciation of his name, fans might think it’s someone else. Right, Gee-no-bee-lee?

However, there’s the analysis of “I think that’s a good pick at that point in the draft.” Well said.

In 1999, this player was an unknown commodity from Argentina, at least domestically. He put some gaudy numbers in the EuroLeague, with 17.3 points per game on 48.8 percent shooting from 1999-02, but that did not become enough to avoid this moment and join others who had their names flubbed on draft night.

At No. 57, though, it’s easy to think that Ginobili became the best player to ever go at this pick. Not only due to his long-term success, but how players who go this low in the draft never find success, sans the occasional handful of appearances in the Association.

In 2018, the Spurs have the No. 49 pick of the second round. It’s still low in the draft and a difficult spot to discover an all-star talent, but can this organization achieve another feat with selections?

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