Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker gave adoring fans a glimpse of the past by playing in the Super Penguin Charity Basketball game in Shanghai on Saturday. One of the San Antonio Spurs icons, though, made sure their brief reunion as teammates was extra, extra special.
Ginobili, who lost his once-flowing locks midway through his career before going completely bald, went through player introductions sporting a very familiar look. An unsuspecting Parker, understandably, appeared as if he’d been transported a decade back in time.
Ginobili, 42, hung it up before last season following a brilliant 16-year career, all spent with San Antonio. Perhaps the best primarily-bench player in the history of the NBA, he somehow only managed to win Sixth Man of the Year once, in 2008. Ginobili’s impact on the Spurs was obvious nonetheless due to both the dazzling flair with which he played and the four titles he helped the Spurs win, the first and last of which were separated by more than a decade.
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 partnered with Ginobili and Tim Duncan for each of his four titles, and was Finals MVP in 2007. He played in six All-Star games and was named All-NBA four times, but failed to make the First Team.
Together with Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich, Ginobili and Parker helped the Spurs reach the playoffs an unbelievable 20 consecutive seasons, a record-setting streak for a single franchise that’s still ongoing.