Top 50 players of 2012 #45: Manu Ginóbili
David “Manu” Ginóbili is the second 6th man to appear on the countdown and the 1st of 3 Spurs to appear on the list. Ginobili and the San Antonio Spurs almost reached the promise-land last season, losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Conference finals after being up in the series 2-0. However, the Spurs reached new heights last season and proved the critics wrong that they weren’t “too old” or “done.”
- 12.9 points per game
- 4.4 assists per game
- .413 3PT %
- .526 FG%
“Ginobili is a different species. He’s the first international player who brings athletic explosiveness to the equation. He can attack the rim, but what strikes me is that he’s such a great defensive player.”
-Current Mavs coach Rick Carlisle
“I love watching him play.”
“You can hit him in the first quarter or the fourth quarter. It don’t matter. Not him. That kid ain’t stopping.”
“He’s a very confident player, such a great shooter from outside. He’s so quick with this first step in getting past you. He takes charges and gets his hands on a lot of basketballs. He has led his team to the gold medal, so you don’t have any higher standards than he has had”
-Former NBA coach Jim O’Brien
“Everything he does is aimed at winning. He might make some interesting attempts, but he is not doing it for show.”
Even though Manu had his least points per game recorded in a regular season since 2003, Ginoboli gave the Spurs cooperation and assistance 24/7 and was still a vital contributor to the Spur’s offense, and also served as a mentor for the upcoming prospects on the Spur’s roster.
Drafted in 1999 by the San Antonio Spurs in the second round, Manu helped the Spurs reach new heights by winning three championships in his young years serving the 6th man role for almost half a decade; then upgraded to a starting role in 2011 but didn’t appear to work out in the playoffs for the team.
As always Manu produced an average year on his stat sheet in 2012, but however, in 2012, Manu moved back to the bench and assisted San Antonio to the Western conference finals.
Manu and the Spurs showed up in the playoffs to win. Victorious in ten straight playoff games, Manu led the charge; and in game one of the Western Conference Finals Manu and the Spurs showed up against Oklahoma City. Ginobili put up 26 points and gave the Oklahoma City Thunder a scoring hazard; leading the Spurs to victory in game 1 and in game 2, however Manu and the Spurs lost grip of the series and dropped 4 straight games to the Thunder and loosing the Western Conference Finals.
Manu didn’t have any mix-tape worthy games of 2012, but it was his off the court highlights that managed the Spurs to victory.
Manu is also part of the Argentina national team; enjoying success for most of last decade. Manu made his debut with the national team in 1998, also he was affiliate of the Olympic basketball team which won the gold medal during the 2004 Olympic Basketball Tournament. Remarked as one of the most elegant European-based players to play in the NBA, Ginobili plays a high-tempo and intensive game. Manu is also one of only two players, along with Bill Bradley, to have won a Euroleague title, an NBA championship, and an Olympic gold medal.
Mix-tapes and career moments: