Manu Ginobili is dealing with a hamstring injury that could keep him sidelined until the end of the regular season and possibly into the playoffs. The Spurs’ second unit will be missing a key component and as a result, the team will suffer as a whole.
The 35-year-old veteran had been struggling lately, but he’s still a huge part of the Spurs. He’s a fan favorite and an extremely tough player and even if he’s lost a step in his latter years, the team still needs him.
Manu is in his 11th year in the NBA. That might mean early 30’s for some players, but since he didn’t join the league until he was 25, Manu is closer to 40 than 30. Ginobili says it’s getting tougher to keep up, but his teammates are a big help.
“It gets harder because you are constantly playing against younger guys,” Ginobili said. “People born in 1990 are starting to come through now. But I am very lucky to be playing for a terrific club. We get older and older, but we are still the top team in the West… There's Tim Duncan and me, but Tony Parker is at his very best. Danny Green is only in his fourth year. Kawhi Leonard is 21 years old and Tiago Splitter is at his peak.”
The Spurs do seem to have a great mix of young and old. It’s what makes them so successful year after year. It’s nice to know that as the careers of Ginobili, Duncan and Parker wind down, there are players ready to step in in their place.
Ginobili also added another interesting tidbit to his interview.
When talking about international basketball, Manu was asked about the Spanish team and he said they have the three best centers in the world, better than any in the NBA and better than the Dream Team. I guess he thinks the Gasol brothers and Serge Ibaka are better than Dwight Howard, Tyson Chandler or any other center you want to throw in there.