If the San Antonio Spurs had not decided to bring Manu Ginobili back, he might well be in Argentina right now trying to figure out what to do next with his life.
He wanted to come back. Turns out the Spurs wanted him back. But after the devastating NBA Finals loss by the Spurs, he wasn’t sure what the franchise had planned going forward. He wasn’t sure they wanted him back.
He confirmed to Mike Monroe of the Express-News that the idea he may retire crossed his mind after an eight-turnover Game 6 when the Spurs let the NBA title slip through their hands.
Ginobili acknowledged some dark days in the immediate aftermath of the NBA Finals, when he wondered if his desire to play could be at the same high level that has characterized his career…. He gave momentary consideration to retirement….
“After the Finals and after the first of July, I just wanted to hear from R.C. (Buford, Spurs GM) and (coach Gregg Popovich) what their plans were,” Ginobili said. “I wanted to hear if they wanted to keep the group together. You never know.
“R.C. said he wanted me back, and then there was nothing else to say. I was sure after the first talk that I was going to stay.”
The Spurs showed last season they are not too old to compete with the best, not with a good set of role players around them. They are going to take a couple more cracks at this thing.
That said, expect Ginobili’s role to shrink a little. He is capable of big games (see Game 5 of the Finals) but he’s not as consistent as he once was. That said, most nights he brings enough clever plays off the bench to really help the Spurs.
In the summer of 2015 Ginobili, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker’s deals are up. That’s when the Spurs will start their rebuild. It is very likely when Ginobili retires. Maybe Duncan.
But for two more seasons, the Spurs are going to take a swing at it and see if they can take that one more step they were just short last season.