There won’t be one more season. Not this time.
Instead, future Hall of Fame Spurs guard Manu Ginobili has called it quits for a legendary NBA career that lasted from 2002 to 2018. Ginobili played until age 40, pushing the boundaries of physics every year he returned to the hardwood. The Argentinian playmaker retires a four-time NBA champion, two-time All-Star and the Sixth Man of the Year of 2008, where he averaged just a hair under 20 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 1.5 steals per game off the bench.
In short: he’s one of the greatest players to play this game, international or not.
San Antonio’s season ended on after losing to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. There were rumors last season would be Ginobili’s last, and when Gregg Popovich started him in Game 4, it became even more real. In typical Manu fashion, he finished with 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting. He also got a beautiful ovation from the crowd as he exited the game.
Ginobili is one of the most universally liked players of all time, so we asked for your favorite memories. Here is what you said:
This beautiful fake on Kevin Garnett got several mentions.
@smcdonald19 @Didymath @darshpreetsingh @SBNationNBA @manuginobili Here's the KG fake... https://t.co/4utBeiR8Gu— Matt Worthington (@mrworthington) May 23, 2017
This ridiculous behind-the-back pass to DeJuan Blair.
@Didymath @mrworthington @darshpreetsingh @SBNationNBA @manuginobili this pass! https://t.co/hkn6uAV7eL— Sam McDonald (@smcdonald19) May 23, 2017
This pass where he threw the ball between Norris Cole’s legs!
@mrworthington @darshpreetsingh @SBNationNBA This pass. THIS PASS. https://t.co/ReBdQAfian— Ματτ (@Didymath) May 23, 2017
This iconic dunk over Chris Bosh in the 2014 NBA Finals.
@SBNationNBA pic.twitter.com/brVhZUSoBa— Michael Wu (@mikewu43) May 23, 2017
This game-winner for Argentina in the 2004 Olympics.
@SBNationNBA This is Manu https://t.co/ZsKoGfiZ5u— Ludmi-Wan Kenobi (@LudmiGabino) May 23, 2017
And both of these for sure.
@SBNationNBA Every time he stole from Kobe— evolution of the arm (@jasonhindle) May 23, 2017
@SBNationNBA ANY EUROSTEP!— iiiBall (@iiiBall) May 23, 2017
Not all of them were great plays, though. Some were just Manu being Manu.
@SBNationNBA His scream in the intro video pic.twitter.com/eCWT2F5yLG— Immortan JoJo (@JayReyTrey) May 23, 2017
@mrworthington @darshpreetsingh @SBNationNBA Best non-basketball memory is when one of my students met @manuginobili and went to a game because he won the Manu's Mathlete contest.— Ματτ (@Didymath) May 23, 2017
But one of the most common answers was this. And we agree.
How much time you got??? https://t.co/RGDyHJRv1L— Leo (@TrillSmith) May 23, 2017
@Didymath @darshpreetsingh @SBNationNBA There's just too many memories.— Matt Worthington (@mrworthington) May 23, 2017
But! We can’t forget the greatest Manu gif of all time.
@SBNationNBA @SBNation pic.twitter.com/r6TfcA9Zs6— B Eazy (@brycejallday) May 23, 2017
And hands down the play got the most responses? The bat. The time Manu killed a bat with his bare hands.
@SBNationNBA @SBNation The bat. BATMANU— мigz мojica™ (@migzmojica) May 23, 2017
Manu said after Game 4 he will take a few weeks to decide his future, but something about Game 4 felt like the end. If it was, thank you for everything, Manu!