Manu Ginobili very proud to have belonged to an international generation that changed the NBA


On paper, when he arrived in the NBA, Manu Ginobili had little chance of ending up in the Hall of Fame. An Argentinian drafted in 57th position, this is not the typical profile to end up one day in the pantheon of basketball.

However, the former Spurs fullback will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend, after an absolutely remarkable career: four NBA rings, an Olympic gold medal, a Euroleague, a best sixth man trophy in 2008 and two All-Star Game appearances.

« It’s something you never expect »confides Manu Ginobili on his entry into the pantheon, for the AP. “We start playing basketball because we like it, because it’s fun, because we’re with our friends. And now, when I thought there would be no more surprises after my career, I have recognition like this. It’s incredible. »

“A generation that changed the way of playing basketball”

An honor that he decided to share with his teammates and his coaches because the Argentinian is aware of not having been a dominant player like LeBron James, Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.

“We are not just talking about individual successes. I have never been the league’s leading scorer, MVP or member of the All-NBA First-Team. I am here thanks to those who surrounded me: the players with whom I played, the coaches who led me, the franchises where I evolved. I know I was lucky to play with such teammates. I don’t take this entry as an individual accomplishment. I was simply there at the right place at the right time. »

With his former teammates Tony Parker and Pau Gasol or even Dirk Nowitzki of course, Manu Ginobili was still a recognized face in the league when internationalization was totally essential in the NBA. This wave of non-American players was even more important and dominant than the previous one, while also giving momentum to today’s stars such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic…

« I’m proud to have been part of this generation that changed the way basketball was played, the way basketball was seen, how international players were recognized, » El Manu analysis. “It was nice to be part of it. »

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