Manu Ginobili may have walked off the court for the last time for the San Antonio Spurs, but we won’t know for sure until after the NBA Finals. Ginobili and the Spurs were eliminated by Golden State in the Western Conference Finals on Monday night, leaving many speculating about the 39-year-old’s future.
Ginobili got a huge ovation from the home crowd late in the game as the Warriors pulled away and capped off the series sweep. Ginobili got a curtain call from Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and the cheering and chanting continued until he left the floor for good. And for good reason: he had a wonderful postseason, with performances that may cap off a legendary career in San Antonio.
After the game, though, Ginobili wasn’t ready to call it quits just yet.
“I always said I want to let it sink in for three weeks or four weeks,” Ginobili told reporters about any potential retirement announcement after Game 4. “Then I’ll sit down with my wife and see how it feels.”
Ginobili showed little emotion throughout the evening, despite the major decision that looms for him this offseason. In fact, he seems to be in a pretty good place right now.
Whatever I decide to do, I’ll be a happy camper. I have to choose between two wonderful, truly wonderful, options. One is to keep playing in this league at this age, enjoying every day playing a sport I still love.
The other one is to stay at home. Be a dad. Travel more. Enjoy my whole family. I have a wonderful family. And sped time with them. Whatever it is, I have wonderful options so there’s no way I can be sad. Why would I be sad, it’s going to be great.
It’s not just a good line for the media, either. Ginobili seems genuinely happy with his career and where things are in his life. Though he’s done with international play, he’s still clearly playing at a high level for the Spurs, a team that’s likely to be right back in the conversation for best teams in the league next season. Whether they are there with or without Ginobili is up to him, but his legacy as one of the greatest Spurs players ever is secure. Fans there love him, players around the league respect and admire him, and he has a great relationship with one of the game’s best ever coaches.
So he’ll take a few weeks to think about it, which seems more than fair. It’s got to be nice making this decision knowing just how many people in San Antonio truly want him back.