Will this month’s NBA Finals be the last we see of San Antonio Spurs swingman Manu Ginobili in an NBA uniform? Nah, guy. Nah.
As the San Antonio Express-News’ Jeff MacDonald noted, it’s just fine to wonder about Ginobili’s NBA future. The 36-year old is a free agent this summer, and after season-long struggles with both injuries and his shooting touch, the excuse of the expired contract could be a convenient way to ease out of negotiations that would almost certainly ask him to take a pay cut down from the $14.1 million he made this season. Toss in a few years of potential upcoming international service and the possibility that Ginobili could make both his first and final NBA seasons end in a championship win, and you would think he’d have the perfect opportunity to Euro-step (we know, we know, he’s not European) into the sunset.
Manu’s not having any of that. From the Express-News:
“I’m not planning on retiring,” Ginobili told the Express-News.
[…]
“There are some days, you’re depressed because you’re hurt and you want to say, ‘The hell with that,’ ” Ginobili said. “But I love doing this a lot. Hopefully it’s going to be here.”
[…]
“From Day 1, I said until July 1 I’m not going to talk about it at all,” Ginobili said. “I don’t want it to be an issue.”
As discussed earlier, it has become an issue because of the seemingly neat bow Ginobili could top his career with by calling it a day sometime later this month. The talk also ramps up when we consider the most recent trends provided by Manu’s career arc.
Ginobili is shooting just 38 percent during this year’s postseason, and while he never was the sort of guy that would lash out for 40-point games every other week, he’s yet to top 21 points during the Spurs’ run to the Finals, while averaging just 11.5 points per game. This is coming on the heels of missing 22 games during both the 2011-12 and 2012-13 regular seasons.
As it’s always been with Manu, though, you have to break out the per-minute stats to understand how good he’s been.