There are some NBA players who have escaped the grasp of Father Time.
Manu Ginobili is one of them.
On Thursday, the San Antonio Spurs announced that the 40-year-old shooting guard will be returning for his 16th season with the team, signing a two-year, $5 million deal, as first reported by The Vertical.
Last season, the Argentinian legend played an important role off the bench for the Spurs, averaging 7.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists over 18.7 minutes in 69 regular season contests and 6.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists over 17.8 minutes in the playoffs.
While his numbers were clearly on the decline from previous seasons, he proved that he could play at a high level after he was thrust into a more prominent role stemming from Kawhi Leonard’s injury against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. He put up 11.4 points and 3.0 assists in 19.6 minutes in that series, scoring 15, 17 and 21 points in different contests within the five-game loss.
Per ESPN, Ginobili will now become the eighth player in NBA history to spend his entire career with one team and play at least 16 seasons, joining Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, John Stockton, Reggie Miller and John Havlicek. That’s pretty impressive company and will undoubtedly play a role in his future Hall of Fame discussion.
News of Ginobili’s contract being finalized wasn’t a complete surprise. After all, last month, he tweeted out that he’d be returning for at least one more season.
In addition to his four NBA titles with the Spurs, Ginobili holds some impressive cumulative numbers in San Antonio, ranking in the top five in Spurs franchise history in games (992), points (13,467), assists (3,838) and steals (1,349), per ESPN.
The two-time All-Star appeared in an amazing 992 regular-season games and made an astounding 212 postseason appearances, which is a testament to San Antonio’s prolonged organizational success.
While he isn’t the same player he was a decade ago, he will provide an immense amount of leadership to the team’s younger players and has shown that, on occasion, he can still fill the stat sheet when his number is called.
At this point, it looks like the Spurs will be deploying a similar backcourt rotation as last season, with Tony Parker, Dejounte Murray, Patty Mills and Danny Green all returning. While rookie Derrick White and 26-year-old Brandon Paul (who played the last few seasons in Europe) might also get in the mix as the season rolls along, it seems like Ginobili could have a similar role as last season carved out.News Now - Sport News