Manu Ginobili’s Free-Wheeling Style Has the Spurs on the Move
Posted Mar 1 2005 1:29PM
Spurring Success in San Antonio
What isn’t a stretch is Ginobili’s value to the Spurs, especially this season. After filling a valuable reserve role in his first two campaigns, Ginobili is now starting for San Antonio, serving as the team’s secondary scoring threat alongside two-time NBA MVP Tim Duncan. Ginobili is enjoying career numbers in points, field goal percentage, three-point percentage, assists and rebounds and playing with the same frenetic, fast-paced style that continues to befuddle opponents, coaches and, yes, even amaze his teammates.
“A very different game,” said Brent Barry. “He is so awkward and just takes bizarre steps. Nothing seemingly fundamental...but it works. He is so effective.”
Even Ginobili can’t pinpoint the loosey-goosey style of play that has been instrumental in the Spurs' recent success, including their march to the NBA championship over the New Jersey Nets in the 2003 NBA Finals.
Ginobili’s road to NBA success was far from traditional. After being selected by the Spurs in 1999, the 6-6 guard played three more seasons in the Italian League where he earned league MVP honors twice and in one season, led Virtus Bologna to the championship and Euroleague Finals where he also picked up MVP honors. In 2002, Ginobili helped his native country, Argentina, to the silver medal in the World Championship.
In a career full of honors and accolades, perhaps the greatest was when Ginobili, who averaged 19.3 points and shot .576 from the field, led Argentina to a gold medal victory in the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.
“Winning an NBA championship is the biggest thing that can happen professionally,” Ginobili said. “But representing your country with more than 30 million people cheering for you and then seeing you up there on top of the podium … it’s hard to find any words [for] that.”