Manu Ginibili decided to retire from basketball on Monday, announcing on Twitter that he’s calling it quits. The 41-year-old played 23 professional seasons, 16 with the Spurs, and was beloved throughout the league as a competitor and ambassador of the game.
When you’re that well-liked your departure from the NBA will be predictably met with an outpouring of support and some touching tributes, and that’s exactly what happened to basketball Twitter on Monday afternoon after the news broke. The Spurs posted their own goodbye video thanking Ginobili for helping them win four titles, and many teammates and even those who simply played against him over the years expressed their support for his retirement.
Pau Gasol, a longtime teammate of Ginobili’s in San Antonio, had one of the most touching farewell posts on Twitter, in both Spanish and English.
Plenty of other now-former teammates said their goodbyes online, too.
The most elaborate message came from LaMarcus Aldridge.
He got some kind words from another international player and future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki as well.
Even Ginobili’s agents had nothing but nice things to say about him.
This one from Charles Barkley is nice but admittedly a bit strange.
For many players, taking the court with Ginobili was a realization that they had finally made it.
Others noted he was an inspiration in coming off the bench as a sixth man.
Even some of the youngest NBA players understood his impact on the game.
Others simply commented on his career and wished him well.
It’s going to be weird watching the Spurs this year without Manu potentially coming in off the bench. Truly the end of an era in San Antonio.