Ranking Manu Ginobili's 10 most iconic plays of all time

Manu Ginobili
Manu Ginobili / Tom Pennington/GettyImages
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7. Ginobili hammers home a powerful dunk over three Lakers

In the 2004-05 season, Manu Ginobili was a year removed from his first NBA title and fresh off a summer winning gold with Team Argentina in the Olympic Games. He was on top of the basketball world, and his upcoming season showed exactly that.

This season was the first in which Manu Ginobili became a full-time starter for a regular season, and it culminated in his first NBA All-Star selection and eventually led to another NBA title. Before that, though, Manu was taking names with the starting unit even in packed enemy arenas.

With the Spurs looking to build on their double-digit lead against the Lakers in November 2004, Manu found himself at the top of the key and decided to choose violence. With a massive left-to-right crossover and a couple of steps into the lane, he exploded to the cup and sent three Lakers through the net with a one-handed dunk.

This remains one of the most iconic play-by-play calls in Spurs history, partly because of how loud the rim sounds as Manu flushes the ball down. It was a tremendous moment in a career that was just getting started.

6. Spurs avoid Game 1 letdown with Manu's clutch 3-pointer

After their 2007 title, the Spurs went on a bit of a drought, for their standards. Yes, they continued to win 50 or more games every year, but they were on a streak of coming up short in the NBA Playoffs for five years in a row before the 2012-13 postseason came around.

The Spurs swept the Lakers in the first round of those playoffs and were looking to keep rolling against Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and the Golden State Warriors in round two. The Warriors had other ideas and were on the verge of stealing Game 1 after Kent Bazemore's layup put them up 127-126 with 3.9 seconds left in double overtime.

Fortunately, a defensive miscue by Golden State led to a wide-open Manu Ginobili on the other end. That's not a mistake you can make.

The Spurs ended up winning the series in six games and made their first of two straight NBA Finals appearances.