Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker enjoying tennis now that they’re ‘too old’ for FIBA World Cup
The 2019 FIBA World Cup is officially under way. Though there’s a lot of star power in China, including reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic, the Americans clearly sent their ‘B’ team or even worse to the World Cup, and several longtime powers on international stage are absent stalwarts who retired from competitive basketball.
Among them are France and Argentina, who are fighting for FIBA glory without the services of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, respectively. Instead of suiting up for their countries, the recently-retired former San Antonio Spurs stars are scratching their competitive itch in early September in a much different way: one-on-one tennis, of course.
Parker and Ginobili both posted about their weekend singles match on social media, clearly pleased to be exercising in a more casual manner than they would have to if competing at the World Cup.
🇺🇲No more FIBA World Cups for us. Too old! Now it's tennis time (and soon pickleball)!
🇦🇷Como no habrá más mundiales de básquet para nosotros, descargamos energías con el tenis. #desafíofrancoargentino. pic.twitter.com/qwVJoeVVm9
— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) September 2, 2019
Parker retired following last season, which he spent with the Charlotte Hornets after playing the first 17 years of his career in San Antonio. The future Hall-of-Famer won four championships with the Spurs, being named Finals MVP in 2007, but also made a huge impact playing for France. During Parker’s tenure, the French won bronze at the 2014 FIBA World Cup and placed top-four at EuroBasket on four occasions, winning gold in 2013.
Ginobili, who hung it up two years ago, has an even more impressive international resumé. He was the best player in Indianapolis for 2002 FIBA competition, leading Argentina to a stunning upset of Team USA and a silver-medal finish. The Golden Generation’s crowning achievement came two years later, when Ginobili, Luis Scola, and Andres Nocioni made history by winning gold at the Athens Olympic Games.