Tag: Manu Ginobili (page 1 of 2)

Zach Lowe’s “Welcome to Manu’s Familia”

This is one of the best articles on Manu Ginobili’s career I’ve read. Includes many gems like this:

Ginobili carried no sense of entitlement; he outworked everyone in practice, especially during scrimmages, when he played as if it were Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Toward the end of an early September 2007 pickup game involving Spurs and visiting free agents, Ginobili dove through three players to retrieve a loose ball and flung it to a teammate. That player scored, and Popovich, watching, stopped the scrimmage even though it wasn’t over.
He gathered everyone and asked them: “What does that play mean to you?” Popovich told them Ginobili wanted to win more than anyone on the floor, and that if the Spurs wished to repeat after their 2007 title, they would all need to play that hard. Popovich walked away, and everyone thought the speech was over. Suddenly, he turned: “And Manu: It’s f—ing September. Never do that again in September.”

David Robinson was my childhood hero, and the newly retired Tim Duncan is inarguably the greatest Spur ever, but Manu Ginobili is my favorite basketball player, and he’s coming back for one more year. Lowe’s piece does a great job capturing all the things that are special about him.

Spurs 2014 Championship Ring Ceremony

I drove down to San Antonio to attend the first game of the season with my Dad and watch the Spurs get their rings and unveil their fifth banner. I recorded the ceremony, and while I spent some time wrestling with the brightness settings on my phone, I managed to get some great moments (including a rare Gregg Popovich fist pump). Here’s what it looked like in the arena.

NBA Finals Roundup: Articles, Images, Videos

I’ve posted my own thoughts already, but after the jump is a whole mess of Spurs stuff that hit the internet after their championship.

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2014 NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs

HandsOnTrophyThere has never been a team like this before.

Over the course of the season–a season in which they had the best record in the NBA–no player averaged as many as 30 minutes a game. No player averaged as many as 20 points a game, though there were nine players that averaged between  8 and 17. The roster included eight international players, representing seven countries and four continents. They used 29 different starting lineups. There was a 38-year-old starter. There was a 22-year-old starter.

People talk about unselfish basketball. They talk about team-first basketball. They talk about the need to sacrifice individual achievement for the good of the group. These things are held up as lofty ideals that teams should strive for in an essentially star-driven league. But the 2013-2014 San Antonio Spurs embodied all of them, to such a degree that they will now be the measure by which such things are judged.

There were individual narratives, yes. There was Tim Duncan, becoming the first NBA player ever to start on championship teams in three different decades. There was Kawhi Leonard, emerging onto the national stage and joining Tim Duncan and Magic Johnson as the youngest Finals MVPs ever. There was Manu Ginobili, leading the Spurs comeback and silencing with thunderous authority those who said his career was over a year ago. There was Boris Diaw, waived by the worst team in NBA history, but a crucial starter on a championship team. There was Tony Parker, winning right next to him, the two of them best friends since they were teenagers in France, and coming right after they led their national team to Euroleague victory. There was Danny Green’s silky offense and suffocating defense, Patty Mills’s unfailing energy and scoring prowess, Tiago Splitter becoming the first Brazilian to ever win a ring. There’s R. C. Buford’s personnel, and Popovich’s plan. There were plenty of individual narratives.

But the most important narrative was the collective. This group of men suffered the most heartbreaking finals loss imaginable in 2013, and responded to it by trusting each other more, deferring to each other more, committing to the idea that the way forward was to forego personal accolades for team success. And when those choices led them again to the finals, against the same opponent, they produced the most crushing victory the NBA has ever seen. They set a record for shot-clock era Finals field goal percentage at 52.8%. They beat the Heat by an average 14 points a game, the largest average margin of victory in Finals history. They believed in each other, set records doing it, and emerged victorious.

I’ve run out of ways to describe how amazing this team was. But that hardly matters; they are a team for the ages. New things to say or no, I’ll be talking about them for the rest of my life.

Tweek in Review

This week’s favstarred tweets get a little basketball heavy towards the end.

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2014 NBA Finals: Spurs 1, Heat 1, I was there

There are worse things than attending a close NBA Finals game which your team loses by just two points. I’m sure I think of one in a minute.

I flew down to San Antonio for this one. The game was competitive, exciting, though not what I’d call “good.” The officiating was ludicrous, and not just in a my-team-lost sort of way. In the there-will-probably-be-people-fined sort of way. Even with that, the Spurs could have had it. But they only shot 60% from the free throw line and their offense turned to poo in the last few minutes of the game.

Meh. Here are some pictures. I got a cool hat. Bring on game 3.

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Tweek in Review

This week’s favstarred tweets.

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The Finals Begin June 5th

And this artsy Vine of Manu’s clutch 3 that ABC made to advertise them is fucking gorgeous.

For my part, I’ll be flying back to San Antonio to attend Game 2.

Two Tweeks in Review

I was at WisCon this weekend, so didn’t do my normal roundup of favorited tweets last friday. Here’s two weeks worth instead.

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Further Beauty

He passed it through the entire Lakers team. All five of them, frozen like statues.