It seems like every season is the last for Manu Ginobili, but the San Antonio Spurs legend might actually be more serious than before when talking about retiring at the end of this season.
Speaking to Canchallena, a sports media outlet in Argentina, Ginobili made it clear it hasn’t been easy for him this season, and he’s closer and closer to retiring from the NBA after 13 seasons.
I do not feel well. Every day, every game, I have to do a lot of things to get to the stadium. Everything hurts.
After the tragic finish to the 2013 NBA Finals in which Ginobili felt personally responsible for how the championship slipped from the Spurs’ fingers, he signed a two-year deal that expires at the end of this season.
If the Spurs had won the championship in 2013, who knows, maybe Ginobili would have called it quits. But he needed revenge. He needed closure, so he went along for the ride and another championship bid, ending in happy tears, beating the Heat to win a fifth NBA title for the Spurs and fourth for Ginobili personally next to Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich.
Ginobili has been mostly healthy this season, playing in 66 games and averaging 10.7 points in 22.9 minutes a night, shooting 42.7% from the field. His minutes usually go up in the playoffs, but maybe at 37 (he’ll turn 38 in the summer), Ginobili can no longer give the Spurs more than he is right now.
Whatever the ending will be, after 13 NBA seasons, it seems and feels like the end is near for Ginobili and his basketball career. There’s no more feeling of missed opportunities and of not doing the most he could have. The Spurs, win or lose this season on their final game in the playoffs, will be saying goodbye to one of their greatest players, and a future hall of famer for what he’s done in the NBA and in international basketball with European teams and Argentina.