Former San Antonio Spurs wing Manu Ginobili is done with the NBA. That much is for certain.
Ginobili addressed the media on Saturday, confirming his decision to remain retired and that last season would be his final in the Association. Speaking to reporters, Ginobili said that he needed to take a couple of weeks to gather himself after he announced his retirement before he answered questions and faced the media.
Most interestingly, Ginobili said there was one specific moment when he returned to the Spurs practice facility that confirmed to him that he wasn’t going to come back to play for San Antonio in 2018-19.
Upon arriving to the PF, Ginobili saw some of the younger Spurs players working out, yet didn’t feel any connection or motivation to wanting to do the same.
“I took last season mentally as my last season,” Ginobili said. “So every place I went, every situation, I kind of knew it was going to be the last one. But I left the door open, just in case. Slowly, the door started to close more. I couldn’t see my body going through that kind of grind again. I felt that I had a good season, that I left everything I had in that previous season both physically and mentally.
“When I came back here and I came to work out a little bit, to lift, bike or whatever, I saw Bryn [Forbes], I saw Dejounte [Murray], I saw some of the guys working out and preparing for the season. And I was so far from that. That’s when I said, ‘For sure, this is it.’ There was a little bit of that door opened, but it closed pretty quick. I couldn’t see me getting ready for another 82-game season, 65 in my case.”
Ginobili said that the decision would stand, and Coach Gregg Popovich of course was respectful of his wishes. Ginobili said Popovich tried to change his mind but only for a moment, “He briefly tried to convince me. He saw me very convinced. I guess he saw it right away. He respected my decision, of course, and we had a great talk.”
The 37-year-old Argentinian veteran said that one of his favorite moments from his career was the 2014 NBA championship, and that he would cherish memories from all over his 16-year NBA career.
Ginobili ends his run in San Antonio as a four-time NBA champion, two-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA recipient, and as the 2007-08 NBA Sixth Man of the Year.