Emanuel David Ginóbili is an Argentine retired professional basketball player who played for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Ginóbili made his professional basketball debut in the Argentine basketball league playing three years for the La Rioja Sports Club. He moved to Europe to play with the Italian team Basket Viola Reggio Calabria for the next 2 years.
Ginóbili was drafted as the 57th overall pick late in the second round of the 1999 NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs. However, he didn’t sign with the Spurs and returned to play for Kinder Bologna in Italy. He helped them win the 2001 Italian League Championship, the 2001 and 2002 Italian Cups, and the 2001 EuroLeague. He was named 2001 Euroleague Finals MVP and Italian League MVP in 2000–01 and 2001–02.
Although Ginóbili struggled to adjust at the start of his rookie season in the NBA, he rose to prominence as the Playoffs arrived. He helped the Spurs past the Dallas Mavericks in the Conference Finals and the New Jersey Nets in the 2002 Finals to win their second championship and his first. As the Spurs began featuring Ginóbili more prominently, Ginóbili’s playoffs stats increased significantly, with 13.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game the following season. In 2004, Ginóbili also won a gold medal at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics as a member of the Argentine national basketball team. His game-winning buzzer-beater, with 0.7 seconds remaining, on the opening day of the Olympics, was the highlight of the tournament.
In the 2005 NBA Playoffs, Ginóbili's play was pivotal to winning San Antonio's third championship. After dispatching the Phoenix Suns in 5 games, the Spurs met a defensive oriented team in the Detroit Pistons. Ginóbili recorded career-highs in his playoff numbers, averaging 20.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for the Finals to lead the Spurs to their third championship. In the 2006-2007 season, Ginóbili agreed to come off the bench and provide stability to the second unit. The 2007 NBA Playoffs saw him help the Spurs defeat the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz, before sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers to win his third and San Antonio's fourth championship.
In the 2007-2008 season, Ginobili averaged 19.5 points, 4.5 assists, and 4.8 rebounds on .460 shooting averaging 31.1 minutes and was named 2008 Sixth Man of the Year. In 2012-13, he helped the Spurs reach the 2013 NBA Finals where they lost to the Miami Heat in a grueling seven-game series. In 2014, Spurs reached the NBA Finals again, where they faced the Heat for the second year in a row. This time the Spurs dominated the Heat, winning the series in 5 games. In 2018, Ginóbili announced his retirement from professional basketball.