San Antonio Spurs legend Manu Ginobili announced his retirement from the NBA earlier today and has since received an outpour of respect from his colleagues and everyone involved in the association. Among the individuals to show his gratitude is Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, who took to Twitter to thank the Argentinian guard.
basketball right now which is the “Euro Step”!!!! God bless you, thanks for the playing the game the right way and for the competition!!! 🇦🇷 🙏🏾💯
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 28, 2018
At the end of last season, Ginobili stated he would take time with his decision, and made it a priority to sit down and have a conversation with Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich before making the call. The pair sat down to discuss the future, and Ginobili came to his decision soon after.
James is just one of many who have saluted the dynamic shooting guard in the wake of his decision. As James mentioned, Ginobili was a pioneer of the game’s “euro-step,” and was a driving force for international-based talent to enter the NBA and display their skills.
The 41-year-old now calls it a day on his illustrious career that yielded five NBA championships and two All-Star appearances. Ginobili was a steady servant for the Spurs and continued to contribute even as he grew older and accepted his role to come off the bench. For his career, Ginobili appeared for the Spurs 1,057 times, averaging 13.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game.
Ginobili’s departure from the game signifies the end of an era for the franchise, who have now said goodbye to the three cornerstones of their ongoing success that spanned nearly two decades in Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and now Ginobili.
Duncan retired two seasons ago and Parker signed with the Charlotte Hornets this offseason to continue his playing career.
The Spurs will now look to the future with their newly-acquired All-Star DeMar DeRozan in the hopes he can lead a team capable of replicating the same type of success moving forward.