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Manu Ginobili retired from the NBA on Monday, but the San Antonio Spurs haven’t seen the last of him.
In a letter he wrote for Argentine newspaper La Nacion, Ginobili said he hopes to aid his former team as much as possible.
“I was sure to make it clear to (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich) this is not a, ‘Goodbye, I’ll see you,’ ” Ginobili wrote. “My kids have already started school, and while I’m in town, I’ll be close to the team and the franchise. I can’t help anymore by taking a charge or with a steal, but I’ll try to contribute somehow. I appreciate all my teammates, the staff, and all the people in the team. I want the best for the Spurs. If I can help, I will do it with pleasure.”
Ginobili spent his entire career with the Spurs. He was a four-time NBA champion, two-time All-Star and an Olympic gold medalist.
The lefty was the 57th overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft and joined the Spurs in 2002. He has career averages of 13.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 1,057 games with the Spurs.
The 41-year-old will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Ginobili waited until Monday to make the announcement on Twitter so he could sit down with Popovich and tell him first.
“After talking with Pop, it was the right time to make it public,” Ginobili wrote. “You can’t imagine the tension I had in front of the computer before pressing ‘send.’ I’m not sure why, since I was convinced that it was the right decision, but it was a very crazy moment. I am convinced and happy with the step I’m taking. It’s hard to explain all my feelings.”