The San Antonio Spurs era that dominated the the NBA for the better part of two decades has officially ended with the retirement of Manu Ginobili. Ginobili announced his retirement from the NBA on Monday, roughly a month before the NBA preseason is set to open.
Today, with a wide range of feelings, I’m announcing my retirement from basketball. IMMENSE GRATITUDE to everyone (family, friends, teammates, coaches, staff, fans) involved in my life in the last 23 years. It’s been a fabulous journey. Way beyond my wildest dreams. pic.twitter.com/3MLCUtmd6K
— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) August 27, 2018
Ginobili is the third Hall of Famer to depart the Spurs this summer, along with Tony Parker who signed with the Charlotte Hornets, and Kawhi Leonard who was traded to the Toronto Raptors after a tumultuous 2017-18 NBA season.
The Spurs won five championships between 1999 and 2014, with Ginobili participating on four of those rosters. Ginobili is a two time All-Star, two time All-NBA third team member, and a 6th man of the year award winner, and will retire as one of the best international players in NBA history.
Perhaps more impressively, Ginobili led Argentina to the 2004 Olympic Gold Medal, leading his country over the star-studded United States in the Olympic Semifinals with 29 points.
While Golden State appears to have a stranglehold on the West for the time being, and LeBron James moving to the Lakers will present a hurdle for the future, the Spurs surrendering their place among the West’s elite should open a spot for the Jazz to compete with Houston as one of the future contenders in the conference.