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Manu Ginobili provides quick retirement statement

Manu Ginobilil, Spurs

After serving 23 years of professional basketball, San Antonio Spurs legend Manu Ginobili decided to hang up his basketball shoes for good in August, marking the end of a fantastic era. And though he admits it was a tough decision to make, the Argentinian star says he hasn’t changed his mind — yet.

“Did you change your mind (about retirement)?” a reporter asked Ginobili, who made a quick statement with regards to his retirement on Saturday.

“No,” Manu Ginobili replied with a big smile. “Not yet, but I do have a few words — nothing to announce.

“I just wanted to talk to you (reporters) one last time, because I missed you so much in the last four or five months,” Ginobili joked. “But, after the announcement (of my retirement), I didn’t have the chance to talk to you.

“I didn’t want to do it right away — with this type of environment,” Ginobili said of announcing his retirement. “Because even though I am very sure about the decision, it’s still awkward. It’s still tough. You are committed, you talk to your wife, and you know what you have to do, but my finger shook a lot before hitting that enter (key). I’m telling you, it wasn’t an easy decision.

“After 23 seasons of doing this, it was kind of hard to put the last nail in that coffin,” Ginobili said in closing. “It was an intense situation, and I was a bit sensitive, so I wanted to wait a couple of weeks before facing (the media) and responding to your questions.”

Without question, Ginobili will go down as one of the most memorable players the NBA has ever known. The four-time champion’s “Euro-Step” move has been (and will continue to be) imitated by young players around the world.

In a whopping 1,057 career games played in the NBA, Ginobili racked up averages of 13.3 points on 44.7 percent shooting from the field (36.9 percent from beyond the arc), 3.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in 25.4 minutes per outing.