Since the Spurs had a shockingly quick exit from the playoffs, the focus turns to Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, and their plans. It’s no secret these guys are “old” regarding being an athlete; Duncan, 40, and Ginobili, 38, are two of the oldest players to have played this season.
When discussing their intentions, Manu said he would “take my time as always,” and Duncan had a similar statement, saying that he’d “get to that after I get out of here and figure out life.”
Both members of the Big 3 have player options for the 2016-17 season, and even coach Gregg Popovich doesn’t have a clue about his stars’ plans. Following their loss to the Thunder, Pop said, “I really don’t know what they’re going to do.” He continued with, “but when they do decide to move on, sometime between now and the next five years — that’s a little bit of a joke — it will feel a little different walking into the gym.”
His relationship with them on this topic is one they don’t talk about. Ever. Pop said he hasn’t “talked to Timmy in about 11 years” on the subject, and also that “Manu stopped talking to me about three or four years ago.”
Even if they do decide to walk away, the Spurs are in great hands with Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge and have already willingly given the proverbial torch to them. Still, it would be nothing short of bizarre not to see Duncan or Ginobili take the court.
The Big Fundamental was handed the torch from David Robinson, spent 19 years as the franchise player, captured five NBA Championships, two MVPs, and cemented himself as the league’s best power forward. Although he doesn’t have the resume that Duncan has, Ginobili has spent 14 years with the team and was just as crucial as Duncan during the four titles he won.