As reported on Tuesday morning, the San Antonio Spurs will retire legend Manu Ginobili’s No. 20 uniform on March 28.
For 16 seasons, legendary shooting guard Manu Ginobili inspired the San Antonio Spurs to reach new heights. As one of the most dynamic and unconventional players to ever hit the hardwood, Ginobili’s on-court success was equally matched by his personal impact on the locker room.
His hard work and unwavering dedication to the franchise will be recognized on March 18, when the Spurs lift No. 20 into the rafters before their matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Over the course of his tenure in San Antonio, Ginobili formed a unique bond with the Spurs’ fan base that garners great affection and respect. With that in mind, the evening’s events will attract one of the AT&T Center’s largest crowds of the season.
Ginobili has remained an active member of the Spurs community by spending time with the team in hopes of easing the transition. For head coach Gregg Popovich, losing Ginobili meant more than just a gap in the rotation. His departure coincides with a time of uncertainty for the Spurs, who had just acquired DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl for an aggrieved Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.
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Losing Ginobili meant that Popovich would no longer have his rock beside him. While Tim Duncan was always the No. 1 option for Pop, it was Ginobili that conveyed the Spurs way to the next wave of players.
Few individuals dedicate themselves to their craft the way Ginobili did throughout his playing days. After working his way through various leagues overseas, Ginobili found a home for himself as one of San Antonio’s celebrated Big Three, featuring himself, Duncan and point guard Tony Parker.
The Spurs will face Parker in Charlotte on March 26 before flying home to honor Ginobili. After that matchup, Charlotte will visit the Los Angeles Lakers on March 29. With that in mind, there’s a small chance that Parker will head back to the Alamo City to honor his longtime teammate and friend before heading to L.A.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) October 30, 2018
Without Ginobili, San Antonio very likely wouldn’t have been able to achieve their sustained dominance over the past two decades. His leadership was crucial in developing Popovich’s team culture and fighting through adversity.
As a new era begins in the Alamo City, it’s important to remember those who are responsible for building the dynasty. Ginobili ranks extremely high on the list of people to thank.