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JJ Redick says Manu Ginobili was ‘James Harden before Harden’

In Manu Ginobili’s career, he has established himself as one of the best shooting guards of all time. From being the 2008 NBA Sixth Man of the Year to four championships with the San Antonio Spurs, Ginobili has surprised many as the former 57th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft.

As the 40-year-old prepares for his 16th NBA season, he is in the final chapter of his future Hall of Fame career. However, JJ Redick still considers him one of the toughest players to guard and compares him to James Harden in his younger days according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype:

Manu Ginobili still, to a degree, but Manu Ginobili circa 2009 to 2012 was such a monster. There were a few years where the Spurs were Manu’s team. He’d play like 28 minutes a night, but he’d average about 20 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds. I mean, he was a monster. He was essentially [James] Harden before Harden. Harden is now the modern version of Ginobili. Manu was tough.

For the younger generation, some may not realize how devastating Ginobili was in his prime years and James Harden is often the comparison made by basketball fans. While all the attention was on Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, Ginobili was perhaps the third best shooting guard in the league from 2000-10.

At this stage of his career, Ginobili is still a key contributor who averages close to 20 minutes per game for head coach Gregg Popovich. With whispers of retirement the last couple of seasons, it will be interesting to see if the Spurs can dethrone the Golden State Warriors and win another championship for the two-time All-Star.