Last night following a 116-110 San Antonio Spurs victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, legendary Spurs guard Manu Ginobili was able to experience one of the highest honors an NBA player could ever receive.
Ginobili watched his number 20 jersey get raised to the rafters in a post-game ceremony with various Spurs legends in attendance including former teammates Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. You can watch the entire 20-minute ceremony below which features speeches from of course Ginobili, both Duncan and Parker, and also head coach Gregg Popovich. Video courtesy of House of Highlights:
An honor well-deserved for Manu Ginobili, the crafty guard enjoyed a fruitful 16-year career in San Antonio before calling it quits prior to this season. Ginobili was an integral part of that Spurs dynasty, as he held down a sixth man role many stars don’t prefer. Ginobili surely could’ve been a starter and was one of the best shooting guards in the entire NBA at a certain juncture but his willingness to sacrifice for the team helped make him great.
This selflessness for his teammates is what made Ginobili a true winner and a perfect fit on the Spurs as he would go on to win four championships during his career with the club. Ginobili averaged 13.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game over the span of his NBA career.
Ginobili will be remembered for so much more than just his on-court accomplishments though. The 6’6 combo guard was a pioneer in every sense of the word, introducing the basketball world to the now very popular Euro step and helping grow the game in his home nation of Argentina. It’s surely fitting that no player in San Antonio Spurs history will ever again don the celebrated number 20 jersey.