This Saturday will be a very special day for Manu Ginobili. The Bahiense will reach the pinnacle of recognition in world basketball with his entry into the NBA Hall of Famebeing portrayed as one of the best in history and the only Argentine to achieve it.
For the left-hander, this great distinction will sum up his successful career, in which he was able to create his own legacy in the sport, based on his titles and memorable performances in his country, Europe, San Antonio Spurs and at selection level.
And just as the now former escort, 45, rubbed shoulders with the figures of the discipline, until joining them, he also acquired great consideration and, above all, respect from the stars, from which he woke up, in more than one occasion, the compliments towards his person.
Michael Jordan: “He’s a great player. He’s a role model for the youth and he’s helping his team win games. We’re going to see more players from Latin America, Europe and Asia who are going to have a starring role in the NBA and that’s going to help.” for basketball to continue improving its level”.
Lebron James: “I would have liked to have him as a partner in Cleveland Cavaliers, but since we can’t, I’m glad he’s not in the Eastern Conference. He does a lot of good for his team. He is a great player and a better leader.”
“Congratulations on your hellish career, brother. It was a pleasure playing against you, all these years. Regular season, finals and national team, it doesn’t matter; it was always a challenge. Basketball has to thank you for the most used move today.”
Magic Johnson: “I love his game. He is the most fun player to watch from Europe and the important thing is that he is one of the most entertaining players to watch in the NBA.”
Kobe Bryant: “He’s a phenomenon. He’s a very intelligent player, he knows how to play in everything. That’s why he was also an NBA champion. You have to look at his entire career: he was a champion in Bologna, in San Antonio, a champion since he was a child. The first time I played against him I realized that he was a very competitive person.”
“Manu, you are a true champion, friend, and one of the best I have faced. He believed that he had to adapt to the rhythm of the NBA, but the truth is that we had to adjust to him. If Manu and the Spurs did not had gotten involved, I would have 10 rings”.
Tim Duncan: “First, I thought that it would be one of the many experiments of the coach [Gregg Popovich]. But it never ceased to amaze me year after year. It was really funny to see Pop complain about what he did.”
Gregg Popovich: “He’s a special player, a special human being. He’s one of those guys who becomes the heart and soul of your team, being an example of competitiveness. He has the same attitude that Michael, Kobe, Magic, Larry and those players. He plays with that same fire. It’s been a big part of any success we’ve had.”
Scottie Pippen: “The game is bigger than the players, and he was always an example of that. Coming off the bench, sacrificing himself, relegating his role as a superstar for the benefit of Spurs and winning titles. For me, it would have been difficult for me to accept it.”
Dennis Rodman: “When he came to the NBA, he wasn’t as athletic, but he worked hard and showed what a great player he is. There are many Latinos in the NBA, but Ginóbili is one of the two best foreigners in history. In his country he is treated like a god.” And that is an honor.”
Tony Parker: “He is a legend, a unique player. I would not have been the player I became if Manu had not been my partner. He was an inspiration to me every day.”
Kevin Durant: “When you see Ginobili, you don’t see a sixth man. You see him as a sixth starter. A lot of people would love to be him and the reason I love him is because of a play that marked me. [en 2010]. He made me think: ‘This guy is a winner.’ A fucking winner.”
“I admire him. He showed the whole league what a sixth man should be and you see a lot of teams trying to copy that model.”
Dramond Green: “Manu’s legacy to the popularity of the game internationally is huge.”
Dwayne Wade: “One of the best players I’ve ever seen. Thank you for pushing the game forward and showing us players around the world what a true champion looks like.”
Stephen Curry: “It’s fun to watch, but not to defend him. He’s always very creative, he’s trying things and it seems like he never gets old. It’s special to watch him play, like in the 2013 playoffs, he made some very important shots for us. He’s been very good for basketball , for the NBA and for the Spurs.”
“Congratulations on an incredible career, Manu Ginobili. You are the embodiment of how basketball should be played.”
James Harden: “He’s the best left-hander in the entire history of the NBA.”
Giannis Antetokoumpo: “For international players, sometimes it’s hard to believe and dream big, and you made us dream big, showing that you can be great in this league.”
Luka Doncić: “Only one word would describe Manu: Legend. Thanks for everything.”
Steve Kerr: “Manu will be in the Hall of Fame. He is one of the greatest players in all of history. He has a very unique style and he changed the way a lot of players play. I see James Harden doing things that Manu does all the time. I see to many players who now do the eurostep. Before Manu, it didn’t happen”.
Photo: Getty Images