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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

'The Decision' Manu Style: Ginobili Still Has Fire In The Belly

Posted By on Tue, Jul 7, 2015 at 4:20 PM

  • Zereshk/Wikimedia Commons

OK, so we all know by now my fellow Argentinean Emanuel "Manu" Ginobili is, indeed, coming back to our Spurs for one more year.

He let the cat out of the bag on Monday, sharing the news with his three million Twitter followers.

Supposedly, he was going to break the news in a column in Argentina's largest newspaper, La Nación. A day late, but he did come out with that column.

Penned by him under the headline: "Still Got Fire In The Belly," (my translation), Manu breaks down for his fans why he wants us to raise the roof when he makes an incredible play as well as make us want to pull our hair out when he turns the ball over.

Bottom line, it's evidently clear that this diehard competitor cannot just walk away from the game.

Not now.

Not like this.

Not when he still feels he's got something to give.

Not when he's got the country's 7th-largest city overwhelmingly dying to have him back. 

And particularly not when he sees the possibility of a rejuvenated team expected to compete deep into the playoffs with a shuffled roster.

"I want back, I've got renewed dreams and I just didn't want to lose out on the opportunity," Ginobili wrote in La Nación. "I got the bug and I got a new sense of willingness to return. The fire's not out yet."

He clarified that he spoke with Coach Pop and with his wife. Check on both fronts.

And while he lamented the departures of Tiago Splitter – "a dear friend with whom I got along great in and out of court" – Marco Belinelli, Aaron Baynes and Cory Joseph, he, like the rest of us, has great hope in the high-profile addition of LaMarcus Aldridge to the team.

Not missing a beat on the latest developments, Manu also noted the Spurs' latest addition, David West of the Pacers, who took a huge pay cut to the tune of $11 million to move to the Alamo City.

"In comes David West, who's got tons of experience and plays hard," Manu wrote. "He makes us a deeper team and gives us more options."

But back to him. 

Basically, Manu concluded, he's well aware that he's about to turn 38 and his days as a professional NBA player are counted. But he still feels like he can compete and that's enough for him.

He admitted that he'll have to work a bit harder to get back in shape, since he's put on a few pounds over the summer back home (likely eating Argentina's world-renowned beef and sweets like dulce de leche and alfajores, which, again as an Argentinean, I can confirm they're impossible to resist).

And for the most obsessed of Manu fans, rejoice – he even seemed to leave the door open on possibly returning for yet another season.

"Who knows come next June if I feel I can still help the team? I really can't say now. Time will tell. Taking it day by day," he wrote.

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