Argentinian basketball star, Manu Ginobili, announces retirement
Manu Ginobili spent his entire 16-year NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs, winning four championships.
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The San Antonio Spurs will be entering this upcoming NBA season without all three of their cornerstone players since the early 2000s.
Manu Ginobili, announced that he will be retiring from basketball after 16 seasons and four championships with the Spurs.
Today, with a wide range of feelings, I'm announcing my retirement from basketball. IMMENSE GRATITUDE to everyone (family, friends, teammates, coaches, staff, fans) involved in my life in the last 23 years. It's been a fabulous journey. Way beyond my wildest dreams. pic.twitter.com/3MLCUtmd6K— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) August 27, 2018
Over his NBA career, Ginobili averaged 13.3 points per game, to go along with 3.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.
The Spurs originally drafted Ginobili with the No. 57 overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. He didn't arrive to the NBA until the start of 2002-2003 season, which the Spurs ended the season winning the NBA championship. Ginobili and the Spurs would end up winning three more championships over the course of his career.
Ginobili is a two-time NBA All-Star (2005, 2011), was twice named to the All-NBA Third Team (2008, 2011), and also won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2008. That year, he finished with a career-highs of 19.5 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game.
In addition to his NBA career, Ginobili had an even more illustrious international career. His crowning moment was during the 2004 Olympics, where he helped lead the Argentinian Men's Basketball Team to a gold medal. This remains the last time the United States Men Basketball Team didn't win the gold medal during the Summer Olympics. The Argentinian Team followed up with a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics.
Ginobili's professional career started in 1995, in the Argentine basketball league. He played in Argentina until 1998. He then went to play for Italian team Basket Viola Reggio Calabria. In 2000, Ginobili joined Kinder Bologna, and helped the team win the 2001 Italian League Championship, the 2001 and 2002 Italian Cups, and the 2001 EuroLeague. He was also named the 2001 EuroLeague Finals MVP, and won the 2001 and 2002 Italian League MVP.
Ginobili's retirement marks the end of the an era for Spurs basketball. The Spurs dynasty, which resulted in five championships between 1999 and 2014, had three other main catalysts for most of those championships. Tim Duncan, the Finals MVP for the first three championships retired back in July 2016. Tony Parker, the Finals MVP from their 4th championship in 2007, signed a free agent deal with the Charlotte Hornets in July. Kawhi Leonard, the Finals MVP from their most recent championship, was traded to the Toronto Raptors in July.
Ginobili was the final piece remaining from those championship teams.