San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili announced in a blog post on his website that he intends to play one more season in the NBA. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, Google translate is a beautiful thing. And it allows visitors to read how Ginobili said that he’s “determined to continue playing in the NBA,” and that it was an easier decision compared to year’s previous.
Ginobili will turn 39 later this month and is coming off one of the worst statistical seasons of his career. Most of his numbers were at their lowest since his rookie season back in 2002, including points (9.6), rebounds (2.5), assists (3.1), and minutes (19.6). Moreover, Manu appeared in just 58 games.
The dip in production isn’t a big deal since the team has officially been handed to Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Spurs, on the shoulders of the Leonard/Aldridge duo, stormed through the West and finished the regular season 67-15 before losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round of the playoffs.
Although Ginobili lacked the ability to make a grand offensive impact, his defense was at its best since the early 2000s. San Antonio had an all-time great collective defense, and Ginobili’s defensive rating per 100 possessions was a 98, the lowest since 2007.
Ginobili announced earlier that would decline his player option for 2016-17, making him a free agent.
San Antonio will remain a contender for the next few years and that could’ve played a part in Ginobili’s decision, but he stated how he wants to “enjoy basketball a little more,” and what better way to enjoy basketball than possibly playing for one the best organizations of all time.