Behind the Numbers: Manu Ginobili

Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs
by Greg Ruder,

Behind The Numbers
Gilbert Arenas 0, Wizards
Marcus Banks 3, Timberwolves
Mike Bibby 10, Kings
Andrew Bogut 6, Bucks
Kobe Bryant 8, Lakers
Jarron Collins 31, Jazz
Tony Delk 00, Pistons
Melvin Ely 2, Bobcats
Pau Gasol 16, Grizzlies
Manu Ginobili 20, Spurs
Drew Gooden 90, Cavaliers
Grant Hill 33, Magic
Royal Ivey 36, Hawks
Linton Johnson 43, Hornets
Dikembe Mutombo 55, Rockets
Eric Piatkowski 52, Bulls
Paul Pierce 34, Celtics
Shavlik Randolph 42, Sixers
Earl Watson 25, Sonics

No. 6?! Not for long. Manu now careens in No. 20.
Number 20 wasn’t the number of his boyhood idol. It isn’t the day of the month his first-born was born. And it isn’t the number his father wore and passed down to his son.

“I guess you could just say I like the way it looks,” said Manu Ginobili, starting shooting guard for the San Antonio Spurs. “The interesting story is how I came to wear the No. 20 in the first place.”

Ginobili was signed by the San Antonio Spurs on July 18, 2002, after several seasons spent in the Italian league. At the press conference to announce his signing, he actually held up a jersey with the No. 6 on it.

“The only two numbers I have ever worn in my career were No. 6 and No.10. [The Spurs] originally gave me No. 6, but that was only one season after [Dallas Head Coach and former Spurs point guard] Avery Johnson had left the Spurs, and there was an outcry from the fans who supported Avery in San Antonio," says Ginobli.

Not wanting to start off his NBA career on a bad note in a new city, Ginobili willingly gave up the No. 6 and asked instead for the No. 10. The Spurs, however, had other ideas.

“[The Spurs] told me that they had just given No.10 to Speedy Claxton (signed June 26, 2002) a couple weeks before, so at that point I really didn’t have a preference. So like I said before, I guess I thought that the No. 20 just looked good, so that’s what I took!”

Buy A Manu Ginobili Jersey!