NBA rumors have been swirling around Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan this season. Since they both have been in the league for well over a decade, everyone wants to know when they are going to head off towards retirement. Many speculate that the decision by one to retire will cause the other one to do so as well. According to Hoops Rumors, that is not the case. Duncan stated that he and Ginobili will make their decisions individually.
Duncan on if he'll retire after this season if Manu does: "We’re going to make those decisions individually, not as a group. So, no.”
— Melissa Rohlin (@melissarohlin) March 25, 2016
Manu Ginobili was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs in the second round of the 1999 NBA Draft. He didn’t join the team until the 2002 season. Since then, Ginobili has captured four NBA Championships, been named to the All Star team twice, and captured the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award. Manu has quite the resume.
A quick glance at the resume of Tim Duncan will tell you that he’s one of the greatest players to be in the NBA. The former Wake Forest Demon Deacons star has won five NBA Championships, three of which he was named the NBA Finals MVP. Duncan has been the NBA MVP twice and has been named to the All Star team 15 times. Just that alone puts Tim up there with the greats, but there’s also plenty of other accomplishments that are too long to list here.
Together, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan have been fantastic teammates. The San Antonio Spurs are where they are today because of the unselfishness of these two great NBA stars. Ginobili proved that he cares more about the Spurs than himself by willingly accepting a role off the bench. Duncan recently did the same thing when he made way for LaMarcus Aldridge.
Even at their advanced age, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan are still valuable contributors for the San Antonio Spurs. Thanks to these two veterans, the Spurs are currently sitting in the second spot in the Western Conference. Their numbers aren’t as great as they used to be, and neither guy really cares. All they want to do is compete in the NBA Playoffs and try to win another NBA Championship. They might be inclined to chase another, even if they win this season.
Win or lose, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan can still walk away from the NBA if they don’t overcome the Golden State Warriors for the championship. Their heads can be held high because their legacies are already set. While both guys would love to win another ring, neither of them are really all that obsessed with catching up to Michael Jordan. That was more of a Kobe Bryant thing until he accepted that it wasn’t happening with the current Los Angeles Lakers roster, which is more suited for a rebuilding period.
Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan can feel comfortable walking away from the San Antonio Spurs because the team is set for the future. Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard have the perimeter secured for the Spurs. San Antonio purposely signed LaMarcus Aldridge with the intention of him replacing Tim Duncan as the star big man. Gregg Popovich will surely be able to uncover even more gems to support Leonard and Aldridge. His track record gives him the benefit of the doubt.
There’s still a chance that Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan could retire at the same time. However, it won’t be because they’re doing it for the other guy. They’ve both earned the right to walk away from the NBA on their own terms.
[Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]