Spurs rumors: A potential hint at Manu Ginobili’s retirement plans?
By Matias Weilmann
With Manu Ginobili’s future with the San Antonio Spurs in doubt, there might be some clarity on the situation.
We’ve reached the point in the NBA offseason where most free agents have signed and news is scarce. For San Antonio Spurs fans, there hasn’t been much since Kawhi Leonard’s letter on Aug. 9. What we could get soon, however, is an answer on Manu Ginobili’s retirement plans.
Sepo Ginóbili, Manu’s older brother, iterated that Manu hadn’t informed him of any retirement decision, but said he believes news is coming sooner rather than later.
?????????Sepo Ginóbili cierra su exposición en el Clinic: "alguna pregunta?", dice. Y se responde solo. "El 20 aun no comunicó si sigue jugando. Imagino que habrá novedades la semana que viene"…
— Carlos Altamirano (@altamirano45) August 18, 2018
The tweet, which translates to, “Sepo Ginóbili closes his exhibition at the Clinic: “Any questions?”, he says. And he answers himself. “The 20th [Manu Ginobili] hasn’t even reported if he’s still playing. I imagine there will be news next week…” could be a solid indication about the timeline on Manu’s decision.
Last offseason, Ginobili agreed to a two-year deal worth $5 million on July 18, with this year’s delayed announcement unsettling some Spurs fans. Ginobili could still be on the fence about his decision, but could also be avoiding attention, which he could do by simply showing up for camp before next season.
The sentiment seems to be that the Argentine guard will return for his 17th season, however.
Danny Green, who played eight seasons with Ginobili on the Black and Silver, believes Manu will return. On his podcast, “Inside the Green Room”, Green shared:
“With the way he’s been working out, with the way he’s been talking, it seems like we will probably be playing against him this year. I don’t know for sure, (but) he’s under contract and it doesn’t seem like he’s ready to give it up yet.”
DeMar DeRozan, who was acquired by the Spurs on July 18th, hopes to play with Ginobili for the first time in his career, according to San Antonio-Express News writer Tom Osborn.
DeMar DeRozan's full quote when asked if he hopes Manu Ginobili returns for a 17th season: “I’ve been a fan of his way before I was in the league. It would be great just to learn from a guy like that and pick his brain.”
— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) July 26, 2018
It was also reported that Ginobili was spotted in San Antonio this past weekend, potentially hinting at his intention to return.
Manu Ginobili has always been a fan favorite for Spurs fans, but has seen his international fandom continue to grow in the latter part of his career, with chants for the 41-year-old erupting at every game, both at home and away. Manu earned the nickname “Grandpa Juice” for his hustle and playmaking, even late in his career.
Should Ginobili return for his 17th and seemingly last NBA season, he will enter as the second oldest player in the league and longest tenured Spur on the current roster.