San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili is calling it quits. Ginobili, who has played 16 seasons with the Spurs and has won four NBA titles, announced his decision on Twitter himself. Shams Charania of Stadium broke the news minutes beforehand.
Ginobili was drafted 57th overall in the 1999 NBA Draft and turned into one of the most-successful second round picks in league history. He’s a sure-fire Hall of Fame player despite only being named an All-Star twice.
Ginobili was a core member of all four of San Antonio’s championship teams – often coming off the bench to lead the second unit. Even at the age of 41 this past season, he provided a spark for the team.
Ginobili took to Twitter to issue a heartfelt statement about his decision:
“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.”
Ginobili’s decision does not come as a surprise, given the state of the Spurs. The team will look very different in the coming years than it has – with Tim Duncan retiring, Kawhi Leonard forcing himself out via trade and Tony Parker signing with the Hornets.
Ginobili will go down as one of the best competitors the NBA has ever seen – and probably the best sixth man in league history.