Manu Ginobili will get another crack or two at going out on top.
After a horrid performance in the NBA Finals that saw him play well below his one-time Hall of Fame standards for all but one out of seven games, Ginobili was expected to retire. It appears the 35-year-old guard and the Spurs are not quite finished with each other, however, as Ginobili announced Wednesday that he had agreed to a two-year deal with the Spurs.
Ginobili recently concluded his 11th NBA season and showed considerable decline in the regular season and playoffs. His averages of 11.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in the regular season were his lowest since his rookie year. He shot just 39 percent from the field in the playoffs, plus a career-worst 74 percent from the free throw line. He erupted for 24 points and 10 assists in the Spurs’ win over the Heat in Game 5 of the finals, but he failed to score double-digits in four of the other six games.
If Ginobili serves out the deal, it will take him through his 21st season in professional basketball (13 in the NBA, eight abroad in Argentina and Italy). He is by far the most decorated and popular basketball player in Argentine history, having won three NBA championships, a Sixth Man of the Year award, two Italian League Most Valuable Player trophies and two Golden Olimpia Awards, a sort of all-sports MVP awarded to one Argentine athlete each year.