4. "It was an honor competing against you but even better competing with you on my side."
While going against Manu on the court undoubtedly led to frustration from countless people due to his craftiness, that same intelligence made him one of the best teammates you could ever ask for. LaMarcus Aldridge had the honor of being on both sides of the equation when it comes to Manu, competing against him for nine seasons until joining the Spurs in 2015.
While he was a little too late to the title to enjoy championship success with Manu, it's safe to say he enjoyed every minute he shared with the him on the court.
"You lift the culture in an organization just by simply being around," said LaMarcus. "You were even successful in getting me to participate in more team activities than I have in my entire career."
Although the Spurs are headed for a tough rebuilding phase ahead, at least we can take some solace in the fact that Manu will still be around.
3. "There's no player in this game that sacrificed more than this young man."
It takes a special person to put aside his own career for others, but that's exactly what Manu Ginobili did for Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs for over a decade and a half.
While some have criticized Pop for opting to have Ginobili come off the bench for over two-thirds of his career, it's hard to argue with 22 straight playoff appearances and five NBA titles (four with Manu). The madman approach worked to perfection in San Antonio, and it wouldn't have been possible without sacrifices made by each of the Big Three, especially Ginobili.
Scottie Pippen summed up Manu's sacrifices beautifully on ESPN's The Jump:
"The game is bigger than any individual. Him coming off the bench, sacrificing not being an All-Star for years, giving up that superstar role completely, and sacrificing for the San Antonio Spurs. The championships that they won. When you win, good things come out of it."
The six-time NBA champion even admitted he'd never be able to do what Manu so selflessly did for the good of the team.
"There's no player in this game that has sacrificed more than this young man," said Pippen.