San Antonio Spurs

Watch Gregg Popovich talk to Manu Ginobili at jersey retirement ceremony

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich gave a moving speech about Manu Ginobili during the player’s jersey retirement ceremony. Check it out here.

Manu Ginobili was certainly one of the most electrifying basketball players to ever play the game, and his jersey was recently (and rightfully) retired by the San Antonio Spurs after a 116-110 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and a bunch of other former Spurs were in attendance, and, of course, current San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich had some praise to heap on Ginobili.

You can check out Popovich’s speech in full below.

A couple of sections pop out here.

First, Popovich mentions that Manu was even more eccentric off the court, and that is incredible. Secondly, Pop said that Ginobili would be going into the Hall of Fame because of his willingness to come off the bench.

It’s fair to wonder if that will ever happen again.

Ginobli’s jersey will rest in the rafters next to Duncan’s, and that is only fitting for the two stars who saw so many playoff battles together. Duncan, Parker and Fabricio Oberto spoke to the crowd (and Manu) as well, and you could tell that it was a building full of gratitude for the championships and the memories.

Ginobili will be remembered for so much. He was one of the first players to popularize the EuroStep in the NBA, and he also helped the Spurs become the premier franchise in the league for integrating players from overseas. Ginobili was one the NBA’s most entertaining players, whether it came to Charles Barkley screaming “GINOOOOOBILIIII!” or the quick-handed guard swatting a moving bat out of the air during a live game.

Ginobili is the only foreign player to win an Olympic gold medal and four NBA championships, and that is an amazing accomplishment. The next stop for him, as alluded to by Coach Pop, will be the Basketball Hall of Fame.

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