Manu Ginobili admits he thought he might retire after season


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.

Marco Belinelli drops 32 on Blazers in preseason game (VIDEO)

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Sacramento is looking for some guys to step up this preseason and show they can space the floor as shooters, giving DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay room to operate.

Marco Belinelli is made his case for that role Monday night against Portland.

He had 32 points on 12-of-18 shooting (including four from three), four assists, and three steals. Combine that from a strong night from Darren Collison (21 points and 10 assists) and the Kings got the 109-105 win.

Turkey’s Fenerbahce beats Nets 101-96 in exhibition game

Fenerbahce Ulker v Brooklyn Nets
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NEW YORK (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets lost their preseason opener Monday night to Turkey’s Fenerbahce Ulker, which got 18 points from former NBA lottery pick Jan Vesely in a 101-96 victory.

Brook Lopez scored 18 points for the Nets and Wayne Ellington added 16.

With a big crowd of fans cheering them on, the Istanbul team improved to 2-2 all-time against NBA clubs. Bogdan Bogdanovic, a 2014 Phoenix Suns draft pick, added 17 points, and another former NBA player, Gigi Datome, had 16.