Manu Ginobili: The should-be banker who turned out to be a San Antonio Spurs legend
- Manu Ginobili is a unique player with a unique story.
Back in the spring of 2017, I met with Manu Ginobili's agent Luciano 'Lucky' Capicchioni in the Republic of San Marino where he lives part-time and which is also the headquarters for Interperformances, the sports agency he founded several decades ago. When I asked Lucky about Manu, he said when he saw Manu before viewing him play basketball for the first time, he thought, "This kid looks like he should be working in a bank, not as a professional basketball."
Ginobili was a thin and lanky 6'4 combo guard at the time, who had been putting up some impressive scoring, playmaking plus defensive stats during World Championship competitions at the under 16 and 18 levels.
ell, once Lucky saw what Manu could do on the court, the banker impression quickly changed. Lucky would sign Ginobili and have a client that would go on to bank in 14,043 points, 4,001 assists, 3,697 rebounds, and 1,392 steals during his 16-year NBA career, all with San Antonio. The 6'6 left-handed combo guard also helped the Spurs win 4 NBA titles and was named an NBA All-Star twice.
Ginobili belonged to a family of professional basketball players. He spent the early parts of his career in Argentina and then moved on to Italy, where he earned several individual and team honors.
His tenure with the Italian club Kinder Bologna was particularly successful; he won two Italian League MVP awards, the EuroLeague Finals MVP and the 2001 EuroLeague Championship and Triple Crown.
Following his time with Kinder Bologna, he was selected as the 57th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. After Ginobili finally joined the Spurs in 2002, he soon became a key player for them. Ginobili was always fun to watch, because of the energy and passion he played with. He was a perfect fit for the Spurs' system with his hard-nosed type of play.
In addition to his four NBA championships, Ginobili was named an All-Star in 2005 and 2011 and was selected twice for the All-NBA Team. He won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award in the 2007-08 season. In all, Ginobili's professional basketball career lasted from 1995 until he announced his retirement on 27 August 2018.
If Ginobili ever decides to go into banking, I'm switching over to his bank.Published 16 Jul 2019, 14:41 IST