San Antonio Spurs legend Manu Ginobili is retiring, which gives everybody the opportunity to dig into his career and show just how amazing he was.
Most casual viewers of the NBA know Ginobili has won four championships in his 16-year career, all with the Spurs. Also well known is Ginobili’s 2007-08 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award and his 2004 Olympic gold medal when he led the Argentineans to victory and became the first country other than the United States to win gold in 16 years.
On the other hand, here is a lesser-known but impressive statistic dug up by NBA.com’s John Schuhmann:
We have plus-minus since 1996-97. Manu ranks 4th over those 22 seasons, having played ~60% the amount of minutes played by the top 3. pic.twitter.com/kaEbkHtUlx
— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) August 27, 2018
While plus-minus is a relatively new statistic and one that has its flaws, this is still an incredible showing by Ginobili. The only three players ahead of him on the chart are sure-fire locks for the Hall of Fame, including longtime teammate Tim Duncan.
Just below Ginobili is Tony Parker, the last piece of the Spurs’ Big Three who had such a dominant stretch. To amass such a good plus-minus, these San Antonio teams dominated for years, having made the playoffs for 21 straight seasons.
The organization hasn’t posted a losing record since 1996-97, mostly due to the brilliance of the three players mentioned above.
Ginobili has produced an almost spotless career and is renowned around the league for his ability and humble personality. It will be odd to watch the Spurs next season and not see any members of their Big Three suited up.