Immediately after the Spurs were eliminated from the postseason in seven games by the Clippers, questions arose about the future of the franchise.
Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are both unrestricted free agents, and while it would be difficult to see them leaving to play somewhere else under any set of circumstances, retirement remains a real possibility for each.
Somewhat understandably, the two weren’t ready to commit to anything right after a devastating loss that ended their season somewhat unexpectedly. But in the days that followed, Ginobili penned a piece that seemed to indicate he might be ready to hang ’em up, if not for the sense of commitment he feels to Duncan, Gregg Popovich and the rest of the Spurs franchise.
From Manu Giobili at canchallena.com (translated from Spanish to English):
Pop said he wanted us to Tim and me in next season. They are words that make me the most difficult things. The truth is that if the franchise had said they did not want me or it was time to rebuild and wanted a younger team, I would have greatly facilitated the task. You may have done a little hurt because even though one is on the ledge, falling just want to not give you the push. So he had hurt a little but it had facilitated the decision. He went backwards, these words help you in the emotional, in confidence, feeling, but I’m not in a time when I need the job.Bypasses feel that if I want to follow, but if you really define feel like doing and get into all this bustle.
In the team meeting I had a couple of nice conversations with Pop and Tim, because we are the ones who are in this particular situation a little, but what he said Pop has made clear what his idea. Well … Tim chatted with some of the possibilities and it’s like we’re on the same page saying we want to wait a little. We need time, see what happens, how we feel, what our families say. Our body is not the same, though in his case it is not noticeable. But other things start to happen mind. …
I do not feel that San Antonio can feel a blow by the departure of some of us. If I were preparing a total reconstruction … it comes and goes Pop another coach Tim retires, Tony does not play anymore. That would change the situation much. I understand it’s time to change things on the computer, or the appearance of the whole and understandably so. But if Pop continues and Tim can follow, everything is different. Because one would have less commitment to colleagues and everything. I guess we’ll have a little talk with Tim, who seems to be on the same ledge as me. We’ll see where the wind blows.
The translation is a little rough, but there are two things Ginobili seems to make clear.
The first is that he’d be ready to retire of the organization simply told him that it was ready to rebuild, and go in a different direction. The second, and perhaps most important, is that he seems to feel a strong sense of loyalty to his teammates and his head coach, and if they all return — Duncan especially, because Popovich and Tony Parker are still under contract — then Ginobili would be hard-pressed to choose to do otherwise.