Manu Ginobili says talks with Philadelphia were serious, but didn’t want to leave San Antonio

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Manu Ginobili was willing to give his beloved San Antonio Spurs a discount. Now, when that discount was $13 million — the Sixers offered $16 million, the Spurs first offer was $3 million — he balked and started having serious conversations with the Sixers. But the Spurs cut the gap down with a $14 million, one-year offer and Ginobili took it.

Ginobili told Michael Lee of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports that he really was a Spur at heart.

“It was not my main option. I never wanted to leave San Antonio,” Ginobili told The Vertical. “But I had to listen to all the options that are there….

“The fact that Philadelphia had a great coach and a person I appreciate so much as Brett Brown, made it more appealing in the case the Spurs didn’t happen,” Ginobili told The Vertical. “But the Spurs happened and they always had the priority.”

Just a quick translation: $13 million is a lot of money to turn down. I love Brett Brown, but really $13 million. When the Spurs cut that to $2 million, I came home.

Gregg Popovich said the Spurs didn’t want to lose Ginobili and Tim Duncan in the same season.

“Losing Tim made it absolutely imperative that we keep him,” Popovich told The Vertical Thursday of Ginobili. “To lose them both at the same time, it would’ve been like death by a thousand cuts. It would’ve been awful.”

Ginobili will play one more season — right after one more Olympic run with Argentina — then walk away from the game. Having always been a Spur. Because that’s what he really wanted.