Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/12/13
Only a crazy person would think that one measly exhibition game against CSKA Moscow is enough evidence to declare that Manu Ginobili is "back." But it was enough for the Spurs to cut Sam Young so who's crazy now? I know what you're thinking "Man enough about Jeff Ayres Patty Mills and Matt Bonner when is Stampler ever gonna write about Manu?" Well you're in luck because it's finally time to discuss one Emanuel David Ginobili and what at the ripe old age of 36 he still means to the San Antonio Spurs. And in recognition of the Argentine legend's playing time we've come to expect on most nights I'm going to keep this short and sweet. I think the team's recent release of Sam Young who's made his living in the league as a small forward -- whatever the heck that means in today's position-less amoeba-like NBA -- had more to do with Ginobili's very strong preseason debut against CSKA Moscow where he scored 14 points on 4-of-4 shooting (3-of-3 from downtown) and had five rebounds and four steals in just under 20 minutes than it did with Young's 0-for-6 brick-fest. Obviously the Spurs brass was optimistic perhaps irrationally so about Ginobili's prospects given his age his extensive injury history his well-documented stamina issues* and his mostly disappointing playoff run which came on the heels of his worst regular season since his rookie campaign. Still because of all he had done for the franchise for the loyalty he had showed in previous contract negotiations and it has to be mentioned his tremendous popularity with the fan base Ginobili still held most of the leverage and used to it procure a two-year $14.6 million deal that looked to be a few mil more than he would've gotten elsewhere.
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