The San Antonio Spurs walked off the court Monday night eliminated from the NBA Playoffs in what could possibly be last time fans get to see beloved veteran Manu Ginobili play.
The Game 4 loss in the NBA Western Conference Finals to the Golden State Warriors featured several moments that indicated the career of the 39-year-old baller could be coming to a close. Ginobili, who came off the bench throughout much of his career, was announced as a starter for Game 4 and was greeted with a hug prior to tipoff by coach Gregg Popovich.
The guard has played his entire 15-year NBA career with the Spurs and was an unlikely star in the league. The Argentinean was drafted in the second round, No. 57 overall, in the 1999 NBA Draft, but didn’t hit the hardwood for San Antonio until the 2002-03 season. And since his arrival, he’s been nothing short of stellar. Ginobili was a key player in four San Antonio championship teams, was selected to a pair of NBA All-Star games and earned NBA Sixth Man of the Year honors in 2008.
If his career is over, he will retire with regular season averages of 13.6 points, 3.9 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game.
Nike Zoom KD 9 “Oreo,” $149.99; footlocker.com
Ginobili played in the Game 4 loss at the AT&T Center in San Antonio in the Nike Zoom KD 9 “Oreo,” the signature shoe of a member of the team that just ended the Spurs’ season: Kevin Durant. In the 129-115 loss, Ginobili scored 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including hitting one of four 3-pointers.
If Ginobili retires, it will be the second star from the San Antonio dynasty in the past two years to hang up his sneakers (Tim Duncan announced his retirement from basketball in 2016.)