Dear Manu – A Letter To Manu Ginobili
I had a feeling this was coming, but it still doesn’t prepare you for when it hits. You didn’t just leave the game today, you left with a piece of NBA history.
It’s truly an end of an era. The Spurs will no longer have a roster with the name Duncan, Parker or Ginobili on it. It’s truly a sad time. I guess the beauty about the NBA is unlike other sports is the history of the game is never forgotten. In fact, it’s celebrated, and we are reminded of the greatness of the past on nearly a daily basis. Be that as it may, this still doesn’t make this any easier to come to terms with.
I want to thank you, Manu. Thank you for being a pioneer for overseas talent bringing their skills to American waters to test out the NBA. Thank you for playing with a grace, flair, passion and love for the game which is lost a lot of the time nowadays. I think when you look back on your career and people associate you with those things, you’ve definitely left a lasting legacy.
Thank you for playing without fear. I remember a skinny Argentinian guard taking to the floor against the Lakers inside Staples Center. Your first basket was a corner three-pointer and you had a lot more hair then, who would have thought it was the beginning of something special all those years ago. It’s crazy it still seems like yesterday.
Despite being a part of an all-time great system, you were still an unbelievable individual talent, and looking back I’m happy Pop and company gave you the space and freedom to develop the genius you were born with. They didn’t hinder it, instead, they harnessed it and you now end your career as one of the most enjoyable players to watch I’ve ever seen.
The out pour from your colleagues goes to show how highly you were respected, and rightly so. Always the fiercest competitor, but an absolute gentlemen off the floor respecting the opponent and being humble in victory.
I’m sure the Argentina team you lead past the United States at the Olympics still haunts a lot of the players, but I’m sure they understand they were in the presence of greatness all those years ago.
There’s so much to say but so little time. Most importantly, thank you Manu. We will be hard pressed to find anyone like you ever again. Enjoy retirement, enjoy your championships, and enjoy the comfort of knowing you gave fans endless memories throughout your career they’ll never forget.
Good luck on your future endeavors whatever they may be, and please, don’t be a stranger, the game still needs you.