Manu Ginobili was a shell of himself during the postseason, averaging only 11.5 points a game on 39% shooting from the field. The 11-year veteran battled several injuries, including an hamstring injury that hindered his ability to attack the paint like he’s accustom to.
The San Antonio Spurs had the Larry O’Brien trophy essentially in their hands in Game 6, but let it slip away with costly turnovers and missed free throws. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but Ginobili received most of the backlash due to his eight turnovers.
After the NBA Finals, there was speculation of Ginobili’s future. He ended up signing a two-year deal to remain in San Antonio, but he contemplated retirement prior to staying. The Spurs legend spoke on this matter in an interview with Argentinean publication La Nación — translated over at Pounding the Rock.
“By the end of the season–and I mean the regular season and not the playoffs– I thought about it a lot. I was so tired of it. I hadn’t suffered a muscle strain in my whole life and I went through three in four months. I felt negative, fed up. And I thought about retiring. I hadn’t come close to making up my mind but I thought it was something I had to discuss with my wife, “what if…?” She told me that it was my decision and she was fine either way. But when I recovered physically I started to feel better about it all. When the season ended I grieved for 48, 72 hours and I didn’t feel retired. I knew something was missing, that I still wanted to play….
“The physical part. Having to keep rehabilitating and getting in shape after injuries. Having to play with the parking break on because I’m coming back from a muscle strain. That wore me out and it was hard. I have a great time when I’m healthy and playing, I feel lucky playing with the team and coaching staff I play for. But the physical problems drained me.”
San Antonio was forced to rely on Ginobili too much last season, but after acquiring guard Marco Belinelli, San Antonio will be able to reduce a lot of Ginobili’s ball handling duties.