Manu Ginobili is one of the few remaining familiar faces on the San Antonio Spurs roster for 2018-19. After an offseason of some roster upheaval, it seems that Ginobili could be another name that may not suit up for San Antonio’s opening night game on Oct. 17.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports Ginobili is seriously considering retirement as the new season looms and that the guard will soon meet with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to discuss his future plans.
San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, a future Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer, is seriously considering retirement and plans to meet with coach Gregg Popovich in the coming days to discuss his future, league sources told ESPN.
Ginobili, 41, has been working out regularly at the Spurs practice facility and hasn’t made a final decision on the coming season, but sources say that he’s strongly confronting the possible end to an historic 16-season run with the Spurs that includes four NBA championships.
Popovich is traveling back to San Antonio from Europe, where he recently participated in the league’s Basketball Without Borders event in Belgrade. The Spurs are hopeful that Ginobili will want to return for a 17th NBA season and are allowing him to take all the time he needs to make a decision, league sources said.
Ginobili has one year left on his contract, worth $2.5 million.
Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News reports that Ginobili’s brother said Manu could make an announcement on his future this week:
Ginobili’s brother, Sepo, last week said that Manu had not yet decided what he was going to do this season and that an announcement of some sort could come this week.
Ginobili traveled extensively with his wife and three sons this summer, touring Washington D.C. and the Pacific Northwest, including Vancouver.
Over the summer, the Spurs lost several key players via trades (Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green) or free agency (Tony Parker and Kyle Anderson).
Ginobili is a fan favorite in San Antonio and is one of the most accomplished international players in basketball history. He is a two-time NBA All-Star, won an Olympic gold medal for Argentina and is a former Euroleague MVP. He has played 1,057 regular season and 218 playoff games with the Spurs, ranking among the franchise’s all-time leaders in game played, points (14,043), assists (4,001) and steals (1,392).
Ginobili averaged 8.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in 20 minutes per game last season for the Spurs.
After the Spurs were ousted in the 2018 playoffs by the Golden State Warriors, Ginobili was at the point he was after last season’s loss in the West finals to the Warriors: deciding what to do about his future.
The swingman is under contract for 2018-19, but he said on April 25 that he was weighing what’s next in his career.
“As I’ve done it the last two or three seasons, I’ll sit back, relax and, after two or three months, see if I feel retired or not,” Ginobili said. “I like to let it season a little bit, to see how I feel. Don’t expect news until July, probably. I just don’t know. I let a month, two months go by and see how I feel. I’m not the type of guy who makes decisions on the fly, and when you are upset, hurt or whatever.”