SAN ANTONIO (AFP) – The San Antonio Spurs paid tribute to Manu Ginobili on Thursday, honoring a basketball career that included not only four NBA titles but also Olympic gold with his native Argentina.
The Spurs raised Ginobili’s No. 20 jersey to the rafters of the AT&T Center, making him the ninth Spurs player to have his number retired.
“I stand here and I think what am I doing here?” Ginobili said. “This was not supposed to happen to me. I had no expectations whatsoever growing up to be even close to being here.”
“When I started to become kind of good I thought maybe I’ll have a quite successful career in Europe, maybe win something with the national team – who knows.”
“Then one day I suddenly wake up and I hear what these legends say about me,” said Ginobili, who was feted by former teammates Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, coach Gregg Popovich and members of Argentina’s Golden Generation National Team with whom he won Olympic gold in 2004.
“It’s just overwhelming,” Ginobili said. “I’m beyond, beyond appreciative.”