White Boy

A pigeon would become a good omen in the life of Emanuel Ginobili. Who would have thought so, at least he didn’t? He lived in a port called Bahía Blanca where he played basketball with his older brothers. Like his old friend Luis Decio never left the arena interfering with the first team practices. Getting on the nerves of Sergio Hernandez (his coach in the Argentinan squad). “He was nothing special,” Andres Nocioni (a friend and basketball player with whom he conquered glory) said, while they were growing up.

The prof plunge of Emanuel Ginobili

He managed, after all, to get to play professionally. He had something in him. A man by the name of R C Buford (Spurs GM) saw him play in the Australian under 22 championship in 1997. “He was like a wild colt out there, just doing some crazy shit… some of it made sense some of it didn’t” manifested.  He passed the information to a curmudgeon Gregg Popovich, who sank it in. He moved to the boot-shaped country. Where he dazzled everyone. He became an important asset, winning major trophies. While being under thorough scrutiny by Ettore Messina (Popovich eyes and ears in Europe). “He thought me how to be a team player,” said so himself.

Spur

During 1999 he was selected to become a spur (San Antonio’s basketball team). Polishing his game in  Europe. Finally, in 2002 he got to experience the American dream. At first, everyone got the best of him. Candy sweet Bruce Bowen and the ever unsatisfied Popovich gave no mercy. Being so unorthodox and his fierce competitiveness helped him stay afloat. Kobe Bryant asked Bowen: “Tell me about the white boy.” Bowen warned Bryant, “Oh, you’re gonna see. He’s not a white boy, and he’s got some stuff.” He became the emotional leader of the Spurs and an extension of “Pop” on the court. His athletic swag, his euro step, his game lecture, and fancy passes remain as part of his legacy.

Pigeon glory

At  18 he said he would reincarnate as a pigeon. He became one while shooting a mesmerizing basket against Serbia in Athens in 2004 (worth watching). There he reached the glory with his fellow Argentinians, winning the gold medal.  Taking out the perennial favorite: the stars and stripes. A runner up in a world championship and a bronze medal became the legacy of the Golden Generation.

What makes Emanuel Ginobili

His obsessive antics, his work ethic. His love of astronomy, flying under the radar. Never adjusting to fame. Taking down a bat in a live game and taking 8 rabies shots for that!!! Staying in his house without talking to anyone for days after a loss. His three children: Dante, Nicola y Luca. His dinners with his famous entourage (Bobo, Thiago, Patty), learning about their lives and interesting subjects.  The pilgrimage of his fellow Argentinians to see him live in action, The unconditional love and support of many, thanks to ICQ (go figure!).  “Immense gratitude to everyone involved in my life for the last 23 years. It’s been a fabulous journey. Way beyond my wildest dreams” Emmanuel  David “Manu” Ginóbili. The greatest Argentinian sportsman.

NBA player emanuel ginobili
Emanuel Ginobili. the picture that says it all: strength and dignity.