Not only is Manu Ginobili retired, but it sounds like the now-former Spur went through all of last season understanding that he was probably going to call it a career. While Ginobili admitted he didn’t want to close the door completely on a return for the 2018-19 campaign, he basically knew what was going to happen this summer.
Ginobili did decide to take some time during the summer to think before making his decision, a process which required sitting down with Gregg Popovich and talking things through. As Ginobili told the media on Saturday afternoon — the first time he met with reporters in San Antonio since his decision was made public — Popovich made a brief attempt at convincing him to come back.
“What was said is private, of course,” Ginobili said, per Michael C. Wright of ESPN. “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.”
It’s been a hectic offseason for Popovich. Between the various personnel moves that impacted the team’s roster (trading Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green for DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl, Tony Parker going to Charlotte, etc.) and his new responsibilities with USA Basketball, it makes sense that he would want Ginobili to come back for continuity purposes. But all good things must come to an end, and in the case of Ginobili’s career, it looks like Popovich recognized this pretty quickly.