Manu Ginóbili, intimate: His obsession with not losing, the discomfort of entering the Hall of Fame and the one regret of his career

Ginobili continues to make history after retirement (@Hoophall)

Emmanuel Ginobili will become this Saturday the first Argentine to enter the Hall of Fame from NBA. Bearer of four rings with San Antonio Spurs and Olympic champion with Team Argentina, the former basketball player reviewed his career in an interview with his former teammate Fabrizio Oberto which is offered in Star+.

Bahiense remembered his first steps in basketball, his uncontrollable disappointment at every defeat and how he became the glory of the sport so quickly that he had no time to appreciate himself. He also shared how now, at 45 years old, he has learned to take life’s experiences in stride and enjoy the most beautiful moments of his everyday life.

its beginnings

“I never chose basketball, I never said, ‘wow, what a good sport.'” For my family, basketball was like going to school or eating, it was a family activity. We went to school and then went to the club which was a block away. My brother played and my father was the president.

“I was lucky that I loved basketball, that I was physically fit and competitive but good. It was getting out of school, doing homework and going to the club. He broke the routine just to study English. But I loved it from day one.”

Many of the technicians I had praised my competitiveness, but I was like that, I never chose it. The same thing happened to me with school reports, I wanted to get better grades than my brothers. It took me many years to get down, to control this. I cried when I lost, I felt disappointment“.

He was losing so hard that he had to win. For my career great wine because it fed me, made me insatiable. But for mental health and being calm and enjoying yourself, no. If I saw it in my children, I would try to reduce it or counteract it.

“With the opposite sex, I was very introverted, I was very shy. In my student years, I started going out, but little by little. Until I was 20 I was never interested and if I dated it was for performance. Partly sorry and partly not, but it was good for my career”.

“I was a Jordan fan, a Bulls fan in the 90s. I’ve cried with some endings. But a year or two passed… and they were all from Chicago. So I wanted to differentiate myself and there was the Warriors and I took that team. The only shirt I ever owned was Tim Hardaway’s. Weird, but we’re both going to be in the Hall of Fame.”

Emmanuel Ginobili retires at age 41 and with 4 NBA titles with Spurs (AFP)
Emmanuel Ginobili retires at age 41 and with 4 NBA titles with Spurs (AFP)

the euro step

“That kind of obsession not to lose was innate. There was no strategy, the fact that he was going through these places (which were between two rivals) was for physical preparation, it was what he could do. He couldn’t go and shove everything in their eyes, although he tried many times. But when Shaquille (O’Neal) comes in or (Dikembe) Mutombo or whoever, you can’t. And the strategy I discovered was euro step That helped me a lot.”

your big change

“There was click after Estudiantes (from Bahia Blanca) in 1998. Suddenly things happened to me that I thought were impossible two years ago. I was absorbing everything and things were coming out of me and I felt like I was eating the world, between 2000 and 2005 it was almost an indescribable state of mind. It was getting worse, it hasn’t happened to me anymore. At the time I don’t know what it was. It was very, very sudden.”

His funny anecdotes in the Argentine team

“The ball from the 2004 final was brought to me by the table umpire after the celebration to see if he wanted it. It had not yet been announced that he was the MVP of the Olympics. But instead he asked me for a t-shirt. I gave him the shirt, he gave me the ball, I put it in the bag and we flew. And I don’t know where it is.”

“After the celebrations, a journalist called me and asked me to talk to my old man live on the radio. I walk away from the group and when I turn around I see that they have left without me. I want to imagine that no one noticed. I turned around, the bus was gone and a staff member wanted to catch me, but we didn’t. I arrived in the Olympic village with a fever”.

“In 1998 I fought with Pepe Sanchez for a place in the national team, we were in Sao Paulo and I don’t know what happened We got off late and the bus had left. We played a friendly match against Brazil. I think I shared a room with Pepe We’re both late. Over two court candidates. We took a taxi and told the driver to fly. We go in and see the team warming up and wait for the fans. But they don’t realize it, and we skip the sign, leave our bags, and leave quietly. Nobody noticed. He didn’t find (Julio) Lamas, you didn’t. It created the feeling that we were coming from the locker room and no one knew about it.”

Manu Ginobili will be the first Argentine in the NBA Hall of Fame (@spurs)
Manu Ginobili will be the first Argentine in the NBA Hall of Fame (@spurs)

your reflections

“Achievements are assimilated days later, everything has its moment. In the middle of the championship, you don’t start evaluating, but there are moments of perspective where you reflect and say, “This is not something you do every day,” to win an Olympic game or to win the NBA Finals 4-0.

“I don’t know if I enjoyed my first NBA ring as much because a lot happened. I felt important because I played 15 or 20 minutes, but I wanted more.”

My whole trip should have been enjoyed more. I had to calm down and feel like I was playing in the NBA Finals or the World Cup. I should have enjoyed the processes more.”

“There are some who are born with the gift of empathy or perspective, and I am not. It was me me me, basketball, my time, my diet and my nap. I wish I had the head of today and the body of 25, but that’s how life works“.

“My relationship with individual awards is strange. I’m so glad they are so happy for me. I get calls from people who are really very happy and I’m very happy that I can continue to generate this, but I’m a little reluctant to do it. I don’t know how to fully enjoy it. Not that I refuse, but it is very difficult for me to accept pampering. It also happened to me when I was an Olympic flag bearer. Then it was pride, but It always generates something strange for me when I live in a team sport“.

“It will be a unique thing to go into the Hall of Fame, but Today it is more of a burden than a pleasure. Visualization is not easy. I have a lot of people to thank in a short time.”

I accept every individual award as a team award, and this is not demagoguery“.

“If I traveled back 20 years, I would pray to calm down because life happens on the other side. Let him enjoy it more because he has connections that are worth more than a title”.


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