After 16 seasons playing for the San Antonio Spurs, Manu Ginobili announced his retirement. In addition to achieving success in international play, the 41-year-old won four championships with the Spurs and was a two-time All-Star.
But perhaps one of his most notable accomplishments was accepting a role off the bench. It did nothing to slow the impact Ginobili had on the court, as he won the Sixth Man of the Year Award for the 2007-08 season.
Ginobili played in 1,057 regular-season and 218 playoff games for San Antonio. He finished his career ranked in the top five all time in games, points (14,043), assists (4,001) and steals (1,392) in Spurs franchise history.
Included in his career were several memorable games against the Los Angeles Lakers, whether during the regular season or NBA playoffs.
Naturally, Kobe Bryant was among the many to share a kind message in the hours after Ginobili announced his retirement:
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) August 28, 2018
Derek Fisher, who was part of countless Spurs-Lakers tilts, also offered a congratulatory message:
You made my teammates and I bring our absolute best every single time we crossed paths, @manuginobili. For that I am thankful to have called you my peer. Congrats on a Hall of Fame @NBA career! #Respect #GraciasManu pic.twitter.com/LIpKIn9NSg
— Derek Fisher (@derekfisher) August 28, 2018
LeBron James doesn’t have the same extensive history as other Lakers, but he did compete against Ginobili and the Spurs in back-to-back NBA Finals to go along with regular-season matchups. James also thanked and praised Ginobili:
basketball right now which is the “Euro Step”!!!! God bless you, thanks for the playing the game the right way and for the competition!!! 🇦🇷 🙏🏾💯
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 28, 2018
With Ginobili joining Tim Duncan in retirement, head coach Gregg Popovich and some within the front office are the last standing members of the Spurs’ dynasty. Tony Parker signed with a two-year contract with the Charlotte Hornets in July after 17 seasons with the Spurs.