San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Manu Ginobili wrote about retirement, coaching, and the team

By Albert Pérez Oyola
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 15: Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on March 15, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 15: Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on March 15, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Manu Ginobili wrote an article in Spanish for La Nación Argentina, in which he discusses his retirement decision, the surfacing rumors about him coaching, and the San Antonio Spurs.

In an article titled “Era más fácil jugar que mirar desde el costado de la cancha,” which translates into It was easier to play, than to watch from the sidelines, Manu Ginobili wrote about some post-retirement life happenings.

Comparto mi columna de hoy en LN. https://t.co/f4xEISaTb5

— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) September 27, 2018

He started off by discussing his retirement decision:

“Como conté en la columna anterior, al volver de vacaciones toqué la pelota un par de veces, la piqué, la olí, pero ya no era lo mismo.” Luego continuó, “estoy más convencido de que hace un mes que tomé la decisión correcta.”

English translation: “As I stated in the previous column, once I returned from vacation, I touched the basketball a couple of times, I dribbled it, I smelt it, but it just wasn’t the same.” He later continued, “I’m even more convinced than a month ago, that I made the right decision.”

So we’ve lost Manu. He’s not coming back, and he’s pretty much saying that the decision to retire has been reaffirmed. We had collectively hoped that once he saw the guys again, played a few games, and met the new players, that perhaps he’d change his mind, but he seems pretty set on the decision, and we’re definitely happy for him.

He also goes on to say on the piece, that he stayed busy with his kids’ school, and even went on a “boyfriend/girlfriend” date with his wife.

Then he discussed how the coaches retreat came to fruition:

The Spurs staff took Manu Ginobili along on a recent coaches' retreat. Pop said he enjoys keeping ex players in the fold:

"We want to keep him around as much as we can, just like Timmy. And Matt Bonner. But we don’t listen to Matt. We just tell him to do his jokes.”

— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) September 24, 2018

“Pop y sus asistentes me invitaron a unirme junto con ellos a lo que llaman ‘coaches retreat,’ en un viaje de cinco días donde se reúnen unas siete u ocho horas por día y debaten cómo será la temporada, la forma de entrenamiento, los jugadores, sistemas de juego, etcétera.” Dice además que disfrutó y aprendió de la experiencia y continuó, “no tengo ninguna intención en el futuro cercano de pasar a ser entrenador…”

English translation: Pop and his assistant coaches invited me to join them in what they call a coaches retreat, on a five-day trip where they meet seven to eight hours a day and debate how the season is going to go, the training regime, the players, systems of play, etc.” He also said that he learned and enjoyed the experience, and continued “I don’t have any intentions of becoming a coach in the near future…”

So there we have it, at least for now Ginobili is not thinking of becoming a coach, but is still interested in showing up to practice and helping the players out in whatever way he can. Ginobili wrote that he appreciated the coaches and what they bring to the team, but that he’d watched practice from the sidelines with Tim Duncan and after three hours they had to stretch or do something because they’d get bored.

“Definitivamente la carrera de coach es mucho más aburrida y por ahora no está entre mis prioridades.”

English translation: The coaching career is definitely boring, and for now it’s not amongst any of my priorities.”

Manu shared his early assessment on the team during training camp:

“Vamos a ser mejores ofensivamente que lo que fuimos el año pasado. También se comienza a trabajar par suplir algunas potenciales deficiencias defensivas porque perdimos personal muy fuerte en ese sentido. Se está tratando de adaptar a los sistemas.”

English translation: We’re going to be better offensively than last year. We also begin working in mitigating some potential deficiencies defensively because we lost personnel that were stronger in that sense. It’s about adapting to the systems.”

It seems like Manu echoes the same concern as all of us regarding the team’s defense based on who they lost, perhaps more so than who they gained. However, he appears optimistic in just being a matter of adjusting and adapting to the system – a task we all know Pop will handle well.

As for who came out guns-blazing so far in training camp? Ginobili wrote about that too:

“Vimos entrenamientos de alta intensidad y se notó que Forbes [Bryn], White [Derrick] y también Murray están muy afilados. Los más veteranos van agarrando ritmo poco a poco, saben cómo dosificar las energías a esta altura de la temporada.”

English translation: We saw high-intensity workouts and noticed that Forbes [Bryn], White [Derrick] and also Murray are very sharp. The more veteran players will catch rhythm slowly, they know how to gauge their energy at this point in the season.

These are terrific news for the Silver and Black. Forbes and White are expected to take solid jumps in their game in order to help the team keep the playoff appearance streak alive, and be competitive in the postseason.

Manu closed his article with a more personal note regarding his travels with his family.

Next. The bond between Ginobili and Popovich carries on

We definitely hope to see more from Ginobili even if it doesn’t mean having an official coaching role with the team. It’s extremely heartwarming to see him in the gym, as his presence must hype up the players, coaches, and fans alike.

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