As Manu Ginobili retires from the San Antonio Spurs, he left fans with a memorable run as one of his last moments.
Manu Ginobili closed the book on his NBA career Monday with his retirement announcement. All 16 seasons came with the San Antonio Spurs, a career that began in the 2002-03 season and resulted in four championships and other accolades along the way.
2017-18, of course, became Ginobili’s swan song. He averaged 20 minutes per game, 8.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists on this 47-win team; all of it came through a season of adversity, including the Kawhi Leonard saga and injuries that hit most of the roster.
Despite this, the Spurs made the postseason. As the No. 7 seed, they faced the No. 2 Golden State Warriors, the eventual winner of the 2018 NBA Finals and the team that swept them out of the 2017 postseason.
The Warriors tried to keep everything status quo, as they toppled San Antonio in the first three games of the series. That brought Game 4 to the AT&T Center in an obvious must-win scenario for the Silver and Black. So, with a bit of “Manu Magic,” Ginobili delivered one last star performance, even at age 40, to propel the team to a win.
Ginobili took over late in the game with an incredible fourth quarter. Somehow, someway, he managed to stretch out 16 points on 5-for-10 shooting and five assists to lead the Spurs to their only win of the postseason. It was one last ride for home fans, who witnessed a vintage performance that’s better summarized in a highlight package:
Ginobili provided other instances through the season, including a game-winning shot against the Boston Celtics. Though, nothing approached his Game 4 performance in front of a crowd that knew the retirement possibility lingered.
A positive, lasting memory will take Ginobili away from the basketball court and into retirement; the final time “Grandpa Juice” worked his magic.