Manu Ginóbili Explained

Emanuel Ginóbili
Position:Shooting guard
Height Ft:6
Height In:6
Weight Lbs:205
Team:San Antonio Spurs
Birth Date:1977 7, df=yes
Birth Place:Bahía Blanca, Argentina
Draft:2nd round, 57th overall
Draft Year:1999
Draft Team:San Antonio Spurs
Career Start:1995
Former Teams:Andino Sport Club (1995 - 1996)
Estudiantes de Bahía Blanca (1996 - 1998)
Viola Reggio Calabria (1998 - 2000)
Kinder Bologna (2000 - 2002)
Awards:2001 Lega A (Italy) MVP
Euroleague Final Four MVP 2001
FIBA Americas Championship 2001 MVP
2002 Italian Cup MVP
2002 Lega A MVP
All-Tournament, 2002 FIBA World Championship
2002–03 NBA All-Rookie Second Team
Olimpia de Oro (2003, 2004 (shared))
2004 Olympics MVP
2004–05 NBA All-Star
All-Tournament, 2006 FIBA World Championship
50 Greatest Euroleague Contributors (2008)
2007–08 NBA 6th Man of the Year
2007–08 All-NBA Third Team

Emanuel David "Manu" Ginóbili (born 28 July 1977 in Bahía Blanca, Argentina), is an Argentine professional basketball player. Coming from a family of professional basketball players, he is a member of the Argentine men's national basketball team and the San Antonio Spurs in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Ginóbili spent the early part of his basketball career in Argentina and Italy, where he won several individual and team honors. His stint with Italian side Kinder Bologna was particularly productive, earning two Lega A Most Valuable Player awards, the Euroleague 2000-01 Final Four MVP and the 2001 Euroleague championship. The shooting guard was selected as the 57th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft and is considered one of the biggest draft steals of all time. Ginóbili returned to Italy and only joined the Spurs in 2002. He did not take long to establish himself as a key player for the Spurs, and has since won three NBA championships as well as being named an All-Star in 2005. In the 2007–08 season, he was named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year.

With the Argentine national team, Ginóbili has also enjoyed success. He made his debut with the national team in 1998, and was a member of the team which won the gold medal during the 2004 Olympics Basketball Tournament. Hailed as one of the finest European-based players to grace the NBA with his high-tempo and intensive game, Ginóbili is also the only player ever to win a Euroleague title, an NBA championship, and an Olympic gold medal.

Family and personal life

Ginóbili comes from a family of basketball players. His eldest brother, Leandro, retired in 2003 after seven years in the Argentine basketball league, while Sebastián has played in both the local league and the Spanish Liga Española de Baloncesto. Their father Jorge was a coach at a club in Bahía Blanca, where Ginóbili learned to play the game. He was also very popular at the club among his team. He was the most talented one there.[1] Given the proliferation of basketball clubs in Bahía Blanca and his idolization of Michael Jordan, Ginóbili's love for basketball grew rapidly.[2]

Like many Argentines, Ginóbili is a descendant of Italian immigrants, and he has dual citizenship with Argentina and Italy.[3] As a result of his travels, he can speak Spanish, Italian and English fluently. In his free time, Ginóbili enjoys surfing the internet, listening to Latin music, watching movies and relaxing with his friends. In 2004, he married Marianela Orono.[4]

Professional career

Argentine and Italian years

Ginóbili made his professional début in the Argentine basketball league for the Andino Sport Club team of La Rioja from 1995 - 1996, and was traded to Estudiantes de Bahía Blanca the next year.[5] He played with his hometown team until the Italian league attracted him, and in 1998 he moved to Europe, spending the 1998–1999 and 1999–2000 seasons with Basket Viola Reggio Calabria.[5] Ginóbili then entered the 1999 NBA Draft and the San Antonio Spurs selected him late in the second round with the 57th overall pick.[6] However, he did not sign with the Spurs at this point in time. Instead, he returned to Italy to play for Kinder Bologna, which he helped win the 2001 Italian Championship, the 2001 and 2002 Italian Cups, and the 2001 Euroleague, where he was named the Euroleague 2000–01 Euroleague Final Four MVP.[5] He was also named the Italian League MVP in 2000–01 and 2001–02, and made the Italian league's All-Star game three times during this period.[5]

San Antonio Spurs

It was not until after the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis that Ginóbili joined the Spurs. There, he made the All-Tournament team alongside future NBA star Yao Ming and established NBA stars Dirk Nowitzki and Peja Stojakovic,[7] and helped lead Argentina to a second-place finish.[5] In his first season in the NBA, Ginóbili played backup for veteran guard Steve Smith.[2] He spent much of the early season injured, and found it hard to adjust to the NBA's style of play. As his injury improved, so did Ginóbili, winning the Western Conference Rookie of the Month in March, and being named to the All-Rookie Second Team at the end of the season.[5] Still, he only started in five games as the Spurs chalked up a 60–22 regular season win-loss record.[8] [9] The Spurs then entered the playoffs eager to upend the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers, and this was when Ginóbili rose to prominence.

In contrast to his regular season, Ginóbili became an integral part of Gregg Popovich's rotational set up in the playoffs, playing in every game.[5] The Spurs eliminated Phoenix and Los Angeles[10] and in those games his scoring threat took opponents by surprise, giving them one more thing to cope with against the now highly-favored Spurs. He helped guide them past the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals and then the New Jersey Nets in the Finals,[10] securing San Antonio's second championship. After the win, Ginóbili won his first Olimpia de Oro ("Golden Olympia") as Argentina's sportsperson of the year,[11] and even met Argentine president Néstor Kirchner.[2] A gym in Bahía Blanca was dedicated in Ginóbili's honor as well.[2]

In the 2003–04 season, Ginóbili began featuring more regularly for the Spurs, starting in half of the 77 regular season games he played in.[8] His statistics improved in all major categories, as he averaged 12.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game.[8] During the 2004 playoffs, the Spurs met their perennial rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, in the Western Conference Semifinals. Following a controversial Game 5 where Derek Fisher scored a buzzer-beating jumpshot,[12] the Spurs lost Game 6 and the series 4–2.[13] While Ginóbili did not start in a single playoff game as he did in 2003, his playoff statistics improved significantly, with 13.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.[8]

After some initial issues with San Antonio over his contract, Ginóbili re-signed with the Spurs and started every game during the 2004–05 season.[8] This was his best season yet as he was selected as a reserve by NBA coaches to the 2005 Western Conference All-Star team, marking his début in the elite mid-season showcase.[5] During the playoffs, Ginóbili's play was pivotal to winning San Antonio's third championship. The Spurs first defeated Phoenix 4–1 in the Conference Finals,[14] before prevailing in a very defensive oriented seven-game series against the Detroit Pistons.[15] Ginóbili recorded career-highs in his playoff numbers, most notably 20.8 ppg and 5.8 rpg,[8] and had the third highest point total in the entire playoffs.[5] In the NBA Finals MVP Award voting, the shooting guard was a candidate but was edged out by teammate and captain Tim Duncan.[2] The former finished the 2004–05 season as the second leading scorer on the team.[5] During the season, he became only the fourth person to win consecutive Olimpias de Oro, this time sharing the award with soccer star Carlos Tévez.[11]

The 2005–06 season was an injury-plagued one for Ginóbili, who suffered foot and ankle injuries that hindered his ability to play. He managed 65 games in the regular season, but saw a dip in major statistics as compared to the previous season.[8] During the playoffs, he returned to form, but was unable to prevent the Spurs from being eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in the Conference Semifinals.[16]

In the 2006–07 season, the Spurs lacked energy from their reserves and Ginóbili provided it by coming off the bench for most of the second half of the season helping the Spurs attain the best record in the second half of the season. Ginóbili produced numbers closely identical to his successful 2004–05 campaign despite starting in only 36 of 75 games, his second lowest since arriving at San Antonio.[8] The 2007 NBA Playoffs saw him help the Spurs to defeat the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz, before sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers to win his third and San Antonio's fourth championship.[17]

Ginóbili was to play an even bigger role for the Spurs the following season, reaching career high averages in points, rebounds, assists, and three point field goal percentage.[8] On 21 April 2008, the NBA announced that Ginóbili had won the 2008 Sixth Man Award;[18] only a couple of weeks later, the Argentine was also named to the All-NBA Third Team.[19] In the playoffs, the Spurs defeated the Suns 4–1 in the first round,[20] Ginóbili was moved to the starting lineup in the second round against the New Orleans Hornets after the Spurs lost the first two road games. San Antonio eventually prevailed in seven games, the Argentine played another strong series, leading the Spurs in points and assists per game (21.3 and 6.0 respectively).[21] However, San Antonio lost to arch-rivals Los Angeles Lakers in the Conference Finals in five games, and once again failed to capture back-to-back NBA championships.[22]

NBA career statistics

Correct as of 1 July 2008[8]

Regular season

|-| align="left" | 2002–03| align="left" | San Antonio| 69 || 5 || 20.7 || .438 || .345 || .737 || 2.3 || 2.0 || 1.4 || .2 || 7.6|-| align="left" | 2003–04| align="left" | San Antonio| 77 || 38 || 29.4 || .418 || .359 || .802 || 4.5 || 3.8 || 1.8 || .2 || 12.8|-| align="left" | 2004–05| align="left" | San Antonio| 74 || 74 || 29.6 || .471 || .376 || .803 || 4.4 || 3.9 || 1.6 || .4 || 16.0|-| align="left" | 2005–06| align="left" | San Antonio| 65 || 56 || 27.9 || .462 || .382 || .778 || 3.5 || 3.6 || 1.5 || .4 || 15.1|-| align="left" | 2006–07| align="left" | San Antonio| 75 || 36 || 27.5 || .464 || .396 || .860 || 4.4 || 3.5 || 1.5 || .4 || 16.5|-| align="left" | 2007–08| align="left" | San Antonio| 74 || 23 || 31.0 || .460 || .401 || .860 || 4.8 || 4.5 || 1.5 || .4 || 19.5|-| align="left" | Career| align="left" | | 434 || 232 || 27.8 || .454 || .382 || .815 || 4.0 || 3.6 || 1.5 || .3 || 14.7|-| align="left" | All-Star| align="left" | | 1 || 0 || 22.0 || .500 || .000 || 1.000 || 3.0 || 1.0 || 1.0 || 1.0 || 8.0


|-| align="left" | 2002–03| align="left" | San Antonio| 24 || 0 || 27.5 || .386 || .384 || .757 || 3.8 || 2.9 || 1.7 || .4 || 9.4|-| align="left" | 2003–04| align="left" | San Antonio| 10 || 0 || 28.0 || .447 || .286 || .818 || 5.3 || 3.1 || 1.7 || .1 || 13.0|-| align="left" | 2004–05| align="left" | San Antonio| 23 || 15 || 33.6 || .507 || .438 || .795 || 5.8 || 4.2 || 1.2 || .3 || 20.8|-| align="left" | 2005–06| align="left" | San Antonio| 13 || 11 || 32.8 || .484 || .333 || .839 || 4.5 || 3.0 || 1.5 || .5 || 18.4|-| align="left" | 2006–07| align="left" | San Antonio| 20 || 0 || 30.1 || .401 || .384 || .836 || 5.5 || 3.7 || 1.6 || .2 || 16.7|-| align="left" | 2007–08| align="left" | San Antonio| 17 || 6 || 32.9 || .422 || .373 || .896 || 3.8 || 3.9 || .6 || .3 || 17.8|-| align="left" | Career| align="left" | | 107 || 32 || 30.8 || .443 || .380 || .820 || 4.8 || 3.5 || 1.4 || .3 || 16.0

Argentine national team

Ginóbili is a member of the Argentina national basketball team, and made his debut during the 1998 FIBA World Championship in Athens.[23] His best accomplishment as a member of the national team came at the 2004 Athens Olympics Basketball Tournament when Argentina became the first team other than the Team USA to win the gold medal in 16 years. The highlight of the tournament was his game-winning buzzer beater with 0.7 seconds remaining, on the opening day of the Olympics, in a game versus Serbia and Montenegro.[24] Ginóbili was also named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, as he led the team in both scoring (19.3 points per game) and assists (3.3 assists per game).[25] At the 2008 Beijing Olympics Basketball Tournament, Ginóbili's Argentina defeated Lithuania to win the bronze, although the shooting guard did not play in that match after sustaining an injury in the semi-finals.[26]

Player profile

Ginóbili is 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in), 93 kg (205 lb) left-handed shooting guard[5] who has been deployed either as a sixth man or starter for the Spurs. He has established himself as a reliable and versatile backcourt presence, and is a relatively late bloomer, entering the NBA at age 25 in a period where entering the NBA as a teenager was very common.[2] Alongside teammates Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, he forms one of the centerpieces of San Antonio's game.[2]

Apart from his up-tempo and aggressive style of play, Ginóbili is known for his clutch play.[1] [27] This is documented by his numerous European league MVP awards, 2004 Olympic tournament MVP, and his performances in San Antonio's championship-winning campaigns. Ginóbili's modus operandi however, is a source of consternation for some of his opponents. A fierce attacker of the basket, he often lowers his head when driving to the basket, and is willing to draw charges on defense.[1] He was even listed by ESPN writer Thomas Neumann at #6 on the list of greatest floppers in NBA history.[28]

But having traversed the major basketball continents in his basketball career, Ginóbili is one of the few players who have enjoyed success under both the physical, one-on-one play of the NBA and the more technical, jumpshooting rule set of the FIBA. He is the only player in basketball history to win the Euroleague, an Olympic gold medal, and an NBA Championship ring[6] [29] (although Bill Bradley won the Euroleague's predecessor, the European Champions Cup, along with an Olympic gold and two NBA titles). He is also the first non-U.S. player to win both the NBA championship ring and the Olympic gold medal, and only the second Latin American to be selected to play in an NBA All-Star game (after Panama's Rolando Blackman).[29] In 2007, ESPN sportswriter John Hollinger even ranked Ginóbili as the sixth best international player in the history of the NBA, describing the 57th draft pick as the "one of the great draft heists of all time", and attributed the trend of NBA teams drafting developing European players to the success of the Argentine.[3] The following year, Ginóbili was named by ESPN as one of the best Euroleague players to have graced the NBA.[30]





External links

Notes and References

  1. Ludden, Johnny, "Mover and shaker: Motor always has been running for Spurs' Ginobili",, 11 June 2005, accessed 18 August 2007.
  2. Manu Ginobili - Bio
  3. Hollinger, John, "The 30 best international players in the NBA",, 27 April 2007, accessed 17 June 2007.
  4. Manu Ginobili, Spurs Guard
  5. Manu Ginoboli Info Page - Bio
  6. Manu Ginobili, Argentina
  7. FIBA World Basketball Championships
  8. Manu Ginobili Info Page - Career Stats and Totals
  9. 2002-03 Standings
  10. 2003 Playoff Results
  11. Agencia Diarios y Noticias, "Todos los ganadores de los Olimpia de Oro" (Spanish),, 17 December 2007, accessed 7 January 2008.
  12. Fisher’s Jumper Gives Lakers Dramatic Game 5 Win
  13. At a Glance
  14. At a Glance
  15. Spurs Dethrone Pistons To Take Third NBA Title
  16. At a Glance
  17. Parker, Spurs Close Out Cavs for Fourth Title
  18. Ginobili Wins 2007-08 Sixth Man of the Year Award presented by Kia Motors
  19. MVP Kobe Bryant Highlights All-NBA First Team
  20. Spurs KO Rattled Suns to Close Out Series
  21. Spurs Saddle Hornets in Seven
  22. Bryant Leads Lakers past Spurs, into NBA Finals
  23. Manu Ginobili Bio Page
  24. Ginobili Lifts Argentina at Buzzer
  25. Olympic Basketball - 2004 Olympics
  26. Delfino scores 20, drives Argentina past Lithuania
  27. Kamla, Rick, "Living the Playoffs: Manu to the Rescue",, 9 May 2008, accessed 12 May 2008.
  28. Neumann, Thomas, "The greatest floppers in NBA history", 7 June 2007, accessed 22 June 2007.
  29. "Emanuel Ginobili"
  30. Whittel, Ian, Best of the Euroleague and NBA: Manu Ginobili,, 2 May 2008, accessed 6 May 2008.