The San Antonio Spurs honored legendary lefty, Manu Ginobili, on Thursday night at the AT&T Center, as they raised his #20 jersey into the rafters.
As part of the celebration, Ginobili’s longtime teammates Tim Duncan and Tony Parker returned to share some of their favorite memories from Manu’s 16 seasons in San Antonio. This includes the moment Ginobili was drafted, and Tim Duncan had no clue who he was.
“I got that call from Pop. Every year I watched the draft. I’d sit at home and I’d tell everybody all day long, ‘I’m not watching the draft, I’m not gonna do this,’” Duncan said. “I sit at home, I watch the draft and we pick people that I’ve never heard of. Sitting there … Emanuel Gee-no-bee-lee (audience laughs).
“Who did we just pick?
“Oh yeah, he’s gonna be great, he’s this, he’s that.”
“Okay Pop, whatever.”
Tony Parker also had some jokes about Ginobili, as seen in the video clips embedded below.
Manu spent each of his 16 NBA seasons in San Antonio after being drafted by the Spurs 57th overall in the 1999 NBA Draft. He starred in Europe before eventually coming to the United States for his rookie season in 2002.
Over the course of his professional basketball career, Ginobili was named Euroleague MVP in 2001, won an Olympic gold medal with Argentina in 2004, earned NBA All-Star honors twice, and captured four NBA championships with the Spurs. Ginobili played 1,057 regular season and 218 playoff games with the Spurs, ranking fifth all-time in Spurs’ history in minutes played, fifth in points (14,043), fourth in assists (4,001) and first in steals (1392).