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San Antonio Spurs

Manu Ginobili reflects on career, retirement in farewell address

In his first media appearance since announcing his retirement on Aug. 27 , Manu Ginobili reflected on his decision, his career and took time to speak on the future of the Spurs organization.

Ginobili, who made his Spurs debut in 2002, won four NBA titles and made two All-Star appearances as a Spur. Last season, the 41-year-old averaged 8.9 points, 2.5 assists and 2.2 rebounds in 65 regular season games.

In a farewell address press conference, Ginobili spoke on a range of topics…

On the decision to retire

''I couldn't see my body going through that kind of grind again. I felt that I had a good season, that I left everything that I had in the previous season both physically and mentally.''

''Playing 16 years is completely unexpected and going through everything we went through,'' the 2008 Sixth Man of the Year added. ''Big disappointments, huge wins, creating that type of union with the coaching staff, with the front office, with the staff, teammates. it's been an amazing journey, way beyond anything that can be expected.''

On Popovich and the new Spurs

With Tim Duncan retiring in 2016, Ginobili's retirement, Tony Parker signing with the Charlotte Hornets and Kawhi Leonard being traded to the Toronto Raptors, the 2018-19 season marks a new era in Spurs basketball. Ginobili gave his thoughts on the changes and what they mean for Gregg Popovich.

''I think it's going to be a great challenge for [Popovich] having a different kind of team, maybe less corporate knowledge. I think it's going to be a fun challenge. I think he's going to do good.''

On his career role as a sixth man

Ginobili, who came off the bench in 708 of his 1,057 games, joked that his initial pursuit of a starting role was not very fruitful. He added an honest take on the process of adjustment to accepting a role that resulted in him being one of the best reserves in league history.

''Never did (achieve that). I actually achieved it in my game two or game three. I said 'Yes,' then boom, back to the depths of the bench. At the beginning it was kind of hard. It took me a while to understand it, to get my ego out of the middle between Pop and me, or the game and me, and how that had to be done for the team and me.''

On the difficulty of his decision

''Even though I was, I am very sure about the decision, it's still awkward. It's still tough. You are convinced, you talk to your wife, you know what you've got to do. But my finger shaked a lot before hitting that enter (to send the Tweet). It wasn't an easy decision.''

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