We argue. You decide.
RAY ALLEN (by L. Shapiro)
There’s a reason why Manu Ginobili has averaged over 30 minutes per game only once in his eight NBA seasons: He simply can’t stay healthy. Manu has not played 82 games in one season yet, either.
Meanwhile, Ray Allen has been able to last since 1996, averaging 37.1 minutes per game. He is known for his fierce work ethic and taking care of his body in his desire to be in the best shape possible. Allen once told the Boston Globe, “I always said the more we run, the better it makes the rest of our game so I’m just trying to remember to get up and down the floor. I focused on getting my body fat (percentage) low, but putting more muscle weight on and having my legs good. I think of all the goals during the season, one of the biggest for us is to stay healthy.”
The hard-working Allen knows that in order for him to continue to put up good numbers at age 35, he must stay in good shape. You know how the saying goes: Those who fail to prepare are preparing to fail.
Let’s not forget that Ray is also one of the best shooters in the NBA, recording better percentages than Ginobili in nearly every category in nearly every year. According to ESPN’s John Hollinger, Allen has the ninth-best Combined Shooting Rating of all-time. Ginobili was nowhere to be found on the ranking.
In terms of individual achievements, Allen has been an All-Star nine times, compared to Ginobili’s one appearance. Sure, Ginobili has two more championship rings, but Allen earned his single ring the hard way. He stepped up big-time, scoring 19 points and grabbing 9 rebounds in Game 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals, which was part of the biggest single-game comeback in Finals history. He also was vital in the Game 6 clincher for Boston, hitting seven three-pointers. In Game 2 of the 2010 Finals, Ray broke his own record by hitting eight threes in one game.
Those kinds of outbursts from Ray will change defensive schemes. Allen needs to have a body or two on him at all times, or else a team might as well give up. Sure, Ginobili’s “Euro Step” looks nice and he even beats Allen in the nearly every per-48-minute category. These stats, however, are not practical, because Ginobili simply can’t stay on the court for minutes like that. After all, just being there is half the battle.
MANU GINOBILI (by C. Mack)
The notion that basketball is the world’s game has been proven true. It all became evident when Team USA lost three times in the 2002 FIBA World Championship. They fell to Pau Gasol and Spain. They lost to Peja Stojakovic and Yugoslavia. But the whole trend began with Team USA’s 87- 80 loss to Argentina in the second preliminary round. The fact was even more apparent when Argentina won gold at the 2004 Olympics. Leading the charge for the South American nation was Manu Ginobili.
Despite the fact that he is one of the pioneer for the rest of the world’s resurgence in international play, his name gets lost for the most part in the discussion of the NBA’s best two-guards. But he is definitely one of the most accomplished in the world at the position. In a head-to-head comparison between him and Ray Allen, Manu is the better choice.
Manu’s game is one of the rarest in the sport. The manner in which he attacks the basket separates him from the rest of the pack. While most superstars display their vertical leaping abilities when finishing a good move to the cup, Manu uses his world-class agility to twist, turn and contort his body in unbelievable angles to score the two. It’s pretty to watch. With that being said, do not think he can’t throw it down on the best of shot-blockers.
Ginobili’s resume of accolades extends beyond three continents. After beginning his career in his native country, Manu went across the pond and dominated the game in Italy. He was three-time Italian league All-Star, the league’s Most Improved Player, and won the Italian Cup MVP. Add to that a Euroleague Final Four MVP in 2001. Since coming to the States, he has added more individual awards. He was an NBA All-Star in 2005. In 2008, he was Sixth Man of the Year and on the All-NBA Third Team. Ray Allen just cannot measure up in this category.
Allen is a big time performer, but he has rarely made it to the championship level. Manu is a champion, plain and simple. Adding Ginobili to your roster makes your team an automatic contender. Every place Ginobili has played, championships followed. In 2001, he won the Triple Crown in Italy by winning the Italian League, Italian Cup, and Euroleague championships. That same year, he brought home a gold medal in the FIBA Americas tournament. He has hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy three times with the Spurs. Cap it off with the gold medal from the ’04 Olympics, and Manu is the definition of a “world champion.”
As they are both slowly entering the twilight years of their careers, Manu just has the hardware to prove how he is just on a higher level than Ray Allen.
Who do you think is better right now?