For Manu Ginobili, the Philadelphia 76ers offer really sounded sweet but rumors are swirling that it was also the offer that rescued his contract with the San Antonio Spurs.
The 38-year old Argentinian explained that he nearly left the Spurs because the 76ers offer was very tempting also because of a person that is close to him, coach Brett Brown. Ginobili admitted that he never intended to leave the Spurs via free agency, but as a player, he wanted to listen to other team’s offer. But when the Spurs increased their offer to a one-year deal worth $14 million, it was an offer that he could not refuse.
“The fact that Philadelphia had a great coach and a person I appreciate so much as Brett Brown, made it more appealing in the case the Spurs didn’t happen,” Ginobili told The Vertical. “But the Spurs happened and they always had the priority.”
Even Spurs coach Gregg Popovich noted that losing Ginobili and Tim Duncan at the same time would have been devastating for the team. He values Ginobili as a player and leader both on and off the court alongside Duncan and Tony Parker. Popovich noted that with Ginobili back in the team, he and Parker would now take the responsibilities in guiding their young and talented roster.
Popovich hopes that with Ginobili and Parker, the Spurs could make a run for their elusive sixth championship title together with LaMarcus Aldrige, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and veteran center Pau Gasol. They will for sure miss Duncan, who announced his retirement after playing a solid 19-year career in the NBA.
It was an interesting summer for Ginobili and he has the 76ers to thank for it as he is given one more year to lead the Spurs to another memorable run before even thinking of joining his friend and teammate Duncan in retirement.
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