Ginobili says he'll take his time deciding if he wants to retire.
Manu Ginobili received a standing ovation last night from San Antonio Spurs fans, as well as his teammates and the Golden State Warriors, as he exited the game for what could be the final time in his career.
The 39-year old 4x NBA champ has come off the bench for much of his 15-year career but last night Gregg Popovich started him as a show of respect.
"We started him tonight out of respect," Popovich said. "That was the whole reason for starting him. Before the game, you think it may or may not be his last game that he ever plays in, and I did not want to miss the opportunity to honor him in front of our home fans for his selflessness over the years. This is a Hall of Fame player who allowed me to bring him off the bench for -- I can't even remember now -- the last decade or something, because it would make us a better team overall."
"He deserved to have that night of respect so that he really feels that we appreciate everything he's done over the years."
After leaving the court to chants of "Manu, Manu, Manu," Ginobili addressed the media and said he wasn't sure what his future holds after last night's emotional and overwhelming send off. He plans to take his time this off-season deciding whether or not to retire.
Golden State players also applauded Manu as he walked off the court with 2:25 remaining in the fourth quarter, including Steph Curry and Kevin Durant who spoke about being a Manu Ginobili fan after the game.
"I'm a Manu Ginobili fan, and when you kind of sense the moment, obviously you don't know what's in his future, but the crowd's going crazy for him," Durant said.
"I tried to do my best to give him that moment; just take it all in, because you could tell how much he's meant to this organization, to this city. Obviously, a true champion. The way he plays the game, you have no choice but to just love watching him play. His creativity, his passion for the game every night. That was a cool moment for him."
Take a look at some of the highlights as well as Ginobili's post-game press conference below.
Manu Ginobili gets a standing ovation after possibly playing his final NBA game 😢 pic.twitter.com/68gp7ELxVc— PinPoint Sports (@SportsPinPoint) May 23, 2017
Very hard to find the words to describe my feelings after yesterday's game. Still overwhelmed. Thank you SO very much!— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) May 23, 2017