The San Antonio Spurs lost another familiar face on Monday when Manu Ginobili announced he would not return to the NBA this fall.
The longtime Spur and Argentinian basketball legend announced on Twitter on Monday afternoon that he is retiring after spending much of the summer debating whether he would return for another season.
A report last week indicated that he was “seriously” considering retirement and it appears his final decision is to, indeed, hang them up at age 41.
Shortly after his announcement the Spurs posted a thank you video showing some of Ginobili’s career highlights.
Ginobili’s departure means yet another piece of the Spurs’ dynasty is now gone. The 57th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft appeared in 1,057 career games for the Spurs over 16 seasons, winning four NBA championships in the process. He played 23 professional seasons overall, signing with the Spurs in 2002 after playing professionally in Argentina and Italy. He was named EuroLeague MVP in 2001 after leading Virtus Bologna to a Championship and also won Italian League MVP honors in both 2000–01 and 2001–02.
Ginobili had come off the bench for the Spurs the last four seasons, and he didn’t have the biggest statistical impact on the club in recent years. He averaged 8.9 points, 2.5 assists and 2.2 rebounds over 20 minutes per game. But Ginobili’s retirement is yet another shift on a Spurs roster that for many years was so consistent. With Kawhi Leonard in Toronto, Tim Duncan long gone and DeMar DeRozan the new guy in town, San Antonio really is embarking on a new era of Spurs basketball this fall.