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Emanuel David "Manu" Ginóbili (born 28 July 1977 in Bahía Blancamarker, Argentinamarker) is an Argentinemarker professional basketball player. Coming from a family of professional basketball players, he is a member of the Argentine men's national basketball team and the San Antonio Spurs in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Ginóbili spent the early part of his basketball career in Argentinamarker and Italymarker, where he won several individual and team honors. His stint with Italian side Kinder Bologna was particularly productive, earning two Lega A Most Valuable Player awards, the Euroleague Final Four MVP and the 2001 Euroleague and Triple Crown championships. The shooting guard was selected as the 57th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft and is considered one of the biggest draft steals of all time. Ginóbili returned to Italy and only joined the Spurs in 2002. He did not take long to establish himself as a key player for the Spurs, and has since earned three NBA championship rings as well as being named an All-Star in 2005. In the 2007–08 season, he was named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year.

With the Argentina national team, Ginóbili has also enjoyed success. He made his debut with the national team in 1998, and was a member of the team which won the gold medal during the 2004 Olympics Basketball Tournament. Hailed as one of the finest European-based players to grace the NBA, he plays a high-tempo and intensive game. He is also one of only two players, along with Bill Bradley, to have won a Euroleague title, an NBA championship, and an Olympic gold medal.

Family and personal life

Ginóbili comes from a family of basketball players. His eldest brother, Leandro, retired in 2003 after seven years in the Argentine basketball league, while Sebastián has played in both the local league and the Spanish Liga Española de Baloncesto. Their father Jorge was a coach at a club in Bahía Blancamarker, where Ginóbili learned to play the game. Given the proliferation of basketball clubs in Bahía Blanca and his idolization of Michael Jordan, Ginóbili's love for basketball grew rapidly.

Like many Argentines, Ginóbili is a descendant of Italian immigrants, and he has dual citizenship with Argentina and Italy. As a result of his travels, he can speak Spanish, Italian and English fluently. In his free time, Ginóbili enjoys surfing the internet, listening to Latin music, watching movies and relaxing with his friends. In 2004, he married Marianela Oroño.

Professional career

Argentine and Italian years

Ginóbili made his professional debut in the Argentine basketball league for the Andino Sport Club team of La Rioja from 1995–1996, and was traded to Estudiantes de Bahía Blanca the next year. He played with his hometown team until the Italian league attracted him, and in 1998 he moved to Europe, spending the 1998–1999 and 1999–2000 seasons with Basket Viola Reggio Calabria. Ginóbili then entered the 1999 NBA Draft and the San Antonio Spurs selected him late in the second round with the 57th overall pick. However, he did not sign with the Spurs at this point in time. Instead, he returned to Italy to play for Kinder Bologna, which he helped win the 2001 Italian Championship, the 2001 and 2002 Italian Cups, and the 2001 Euroleague, where he was named the Euroleague 2000–01 Euroleague Final Four MVP. He was also named the Italian League MVP in 2000–01 and 2001–02, and made the Italian league's All-Star game three times during this period.

San Antonio Spurs

It was not until after the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolismarker that Ginóbili joined the Spurs. There, he made the All-Tournament team alongside future NBA star Yao Ming and established NBA stars Dirk Nowitzki and Peja Stojakovic, and helped lead Argentina to a second-place finish. In his first season in the NBA, Ginóbili played backup for veteran guard Steve Smith. He spent much of the early season injured, and found it hard to adjust to the NBA's style of play. As his injury improved, so did Ginóbili, winning the Western Conference Rookie of the Month in March, and being named to the All-Rookie Second Team at the end of the season. Still, he only started in five games as the Spurs chalked up a 60–22 regular season win–loss record. The Spurs then entered the playoffs eager to upend the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers, and this was when Ginóbili rose to prominence.

In contrast to his regular season, Ginóbili became an integral part of Gregg Popovich's rotational set up in the playoffs, playing in every game. The Spurs eliminated Phoenix and Los Angeles and in those games his scoring threat took opponents by surprise, giving them one more thing to cope with against the now highly-favored Spurs. He helped guide them past the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals and then the New Jersey Nets in the Finals, securing San Antonio's second championship. After the win, Ginóbili won his first Olimpia de Oro ("Golden Olympia") as Argentina's sportsperson of the year, and even met Argentine president Néstor Kirchner. A gym in Bahía Blanca was dedicated in Ginóbili's honor as well.

In the 2003–04 season, Ginóbili began featuring more regularly for the Spurs, starting in half of the 77 regular season games he played in. His statistics improved in all major categories, as he averaged 12.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game. During the 2004 playoffs, the Spurs met their perennial rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, in the Western Conference Semifinals. Following a controversial Game 5 where Derek Fisher scored a buzzer-beating jumpshot, the Spurs lost Game 6 and the series 4–2. While Ginóbili did not start in a single playoff game as he did in 2003, his playoff statistics improved significantly, with 13.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.

After some initial issues with San Antonio over his contract, Ginóbili re-signed with the Spurs and started every game during the 2004–05 season. This was his best season yet as he was selected as a reserve by NBA coaches to the 2005 Western Conference All-Star team, marking his début in the elite mid-season showcase. During the playoffs, Ginóbili's play was pivotal to winning San Antonio's third championship. The Spurs first defeated Phoenix 4–1 in the Conference Finals, before prevailing in a very defensive oriented seven-game series against the Detroit Pistons. Ginóbili recorded career-highs in his playoff numbers, most notably 20.8 ppg and 5.8 rpg, and had the third highest point total in the entire playoffs. In the NBA Finals MVP Award voting, the shooting guard was a candidate but was edged out by teammate and captain Tim Duncan. The former finished the 2004–05 season as the second leading scorer on the team. During the season, he became only the fourth person to win consecutive Olimpias de Oro, this time sharing the award with soccer star Carlos Tévez.

The 2005–06 season was an injury-plagued one for Ginóbili, who suffered foot and ankle injuries that hindered his ability to play. He managed 65 games in the regular season, but saw a dip in major statistics as compared to the previous season. During the playoffs, he returned to form, but was unable to prevent the Spurs from being eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in the Conference Semifinals.

In the 2006–07 season, the Spurs lacked energy from their reserves and Ginóbili provided it by coming off the bench for most of the second half of the season helping the Spurs attain the best record in the second half of the season. Ginóbili produced numbers closely identical to his successful 2004–05 campaign despite starting in only 36 of 75 games, his second lowest since arriving at San Antonio. The 2007 NBA Playoffs saw him help the Spurs to defeat the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz, before sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers to win his third and San Antonio's fourth championship.

Ginóbili was to play an even bigger role for the Spurs the following season, reaching career high averages in points, rebounds, assists, and three point field goal percentage. On 21 April 2008, the NBA announced that Ginóbili had won the 2008 Sixth Man Award; only a couple of weeks later, the Argentine was also named to the All-NBA Third Team. In the playoffs, the Spurs defeated the Suns 4–1 in the first round, Ginóbili was moved to the starting lineup in the second round against the New Orleans Hornets after the Spurs lost the first two road games. San Antonio eventually prevailed in seven games, the Argentine played another strong series, leading the Spurs in points and assists per game (21.3 and 6.0 respectively). However, San Antonio lost to arch-rivals Los Angeles Lakers in the Conference Finals in five games, and once again failed to capture back-to-back NBA championships.

The following season, Ginóbili was injured for most of the campaign, managing only 44 regular season games and missing the 2009 NBA Playoffs entirely. San Antonio qualified for the playoffs as the third seed with a 54–28 record, but with an aging supporting cast (Bowen, Michael Finley and Kurt Thomas were all in their late 30s), the Spurs were only considered fringe contenders for the championship. As it turned out, the strong play of Duncan and Tony Parker were not enough to help the Spurs avoid a 4–1 defeat by Dallas, and the Spurs were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2000.

NBA career statistics

Correct as of 19 May 2008

Regular season

San Antonio
69 5 20.7 .438 .345 .737 2.3 2.0 1.4 .2 7.6
San Antonio
77 38 29.4 .418 .359 .802 4.5 3.8 1.8 .2 12.8
San Antonio
74 74 29.6 .471 .376 .803 4.4 3.9 1.6 .4 16.0
San Antonio
65 56 27.9 .462 .382 .778 3.5 3.6 1.5 .4 15.1
San Antonio
75 36 27.5 .464 .396 .860 4.4 3.5 1.5 .4 16.5
San Antonio
74 23 31.0 .460 .401 .860 4.8 4.5 1.5 .4 19.5
San Antonio
44 7 26.8 .454 .330 .884 4.5 3.6 1.5 .4 15.5
478 239 27.7 .454 .376 .821 4.1 3.6 1.5 .3 14.7
1 0 22.0 .500 .000 1.000 3.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 8.0


San Antonio
24 0 27.5 .386 .384 .757 3.8 2.9 1.7 .4 9.4
San Antonio
10 0 28.0 .447 .286 .818 5.3 3.1 1.7 .1 13.0
San Antonio
23 15 33.6 .507 .438 .795 5.8 4.2 1.2 .3 20.8
San Antonio
13 11 32.8 .484 .333 .839 4.5 3.0 1.5 .5 18.4
San Antonio
20 0 30.1 .401 .384 .836 5.5 3.7 1.6 .2 16.7
San Antonio
17 6 32.9 .422 .373 .896 3.8 3.9 .6 .3 17.8
107 32 30.8 .443 .380 .820 4.8 3.5 1.4 .3 16.0

Argentine national team

Ginóbili is a member of the Argentine national basketball team, and made his debut during the 1998 FIBA World Championship in Athensmarker. His best accomplishment as a member of the national team came at the 2004 Athens Olympics Basketball Tournament when Argentina became the first team other than the Team USA to win the gold medal in 16 years. The highlight of the tournament was his game-winning buzzer beater with 0.7 seconds remaining, on the opening day of the Olympics, in a game versus Serbia and Montenegro. Ginóbili was also named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, as he led the team in both scoring (19.3 points per game) and assists (3.3 assists per game). At the 2008 Beijing Olympics Basketball Tournament, Ginóbili's Argentina defeated Lithuania to win the bronze, although the shooting guard did not play in that match after sustaining an injury in the semi-finals.

Player profile

Ginóbili is a 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m), 205 lb (93 kg) left-handed shooting guard who has been deployed either as a sixth man or starter for the Spurs. He has established himself as a reliable and versatile back court presence, and is a relatively late bloomer, entering the NBA at age 25 in a period where entering the NBA as a teenager was very common. Alongside teammates Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, he forms one of the centerpieces of San Antonio's game.

Apart from his up-tempo and aggressive style of play, Ginóbili is known for his clutch play. This is documented by his numerous European league MVP awards, 2004 Olympic tournament MVP, and his performances in San Antonio's championship-winning campaigns. Ginóbili's modus operandi however, is a source of consternation for some of his opponents. A fierce attacker of the basket, he often lowers his head when driving to the basket, and is willing to draw charges on defense. He was even listed by ESPN writer Thomas Neumann at #6 on the list of greatest floppers in NBA history.

But having traversed the major basketball continents in his basketball career, Ginóbili is one of the few players who have enjoyed success under both the physical, one-on-one play of the NBA and the more technical, jumpshooting rule set of the FIBA. He is one of only two players in basketball history along with Bill Bradley to win the Euroleague, an Olympic gold medal, and an NBA Championship ring. He is also the first non-U.S. player to win both the NBA championship ring and the Olympic gold medal, and only the second Latin American to be selected to play in an NBA All-Star game (after Panamamarker's Rolando Blackman).

In 2007, ESPN sportswriter John Hollinger even ranked Ginóbili as the sixth best international player in the history of the NBA, describing the 57th draft pick as the "one of the great draft heists of all time", and attributed the trend of NBA teams drafting developing European players to the success of the Argentine. The following year, Ginóbili was named by ESPN as one of the best Euroleague players to have graced the NBA.


  • Italian League All-Star: 1999, 2000, 2001
  • Italian League Most Improved Player: 2000, 2001, 2002
  • Euroleague Final Four Most Valuable Player: 2001
  • FIBA Americas Championship Most Valuable Player: 2001
  • Italian Cup Most Valuable Player: 2002
  • All-Tournament Team, FIBA World Championship: 2002, 2006
  • Ideal Olympics Team: 2004
  • Summer Olympic Games Most Valuable Player: 2004
  • Olimpia de Oro: 2003, 2004 (shared with Carlos Tévez)
  • NBA All-Star: 2005
  • 50 Greatest Euroleague Contributors: 2008
  • NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award: 2008
  • All-NBA Third Team: 2008

  • Italian League Championship: 2001
  • Italian Cup: 2001, 2002
  • Euroleague: 2001
  • Triple Crown: 2001
  • Americas Championship: 2001
  • NBA Championship: 2003, 2005, 2007
  • Summer Olympic Games gold medal: 2004
  • Summer Olympic Games bronze medal: 2008


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  14. At a Glance,, accessed 17 June 2007.
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  16. At a Glance,, accessed 17 June 2007.
  17. Parker, Spurs Close Out Cavs for Fourth Title, 15 June 2007, accessed 17 June 2007.
  18. Ginobili Wins 2007-08 Sixth Man of the Year Award presented by Kia Motors,, 21 April 2008, accessed 22 April 2008.
  19. MVP Kobe Bryant Highlights All-NBA First Team,, 8 May 2008, accessed 9 May 2008.
  20. Spurs KO Rattled Suns to Close Out Series,, 30 April 2008, accessed 12 May 2008.
  21. Spurs Saddle Hornets in Seven,, 19 May 2008, accessed 20 May 2008.
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  23. 2008-09 NBA Season Summary,, accessed 16 April 2009.
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  27. Ginobili Lifts Argentina at Buzzer,, 16 August 2004, accessed 18 August 2007.
  28. Olympic Basketball - 2004 Olympics,, 29 August 2004, accessed 17 June 2007.
  29. Delfino scores 20, drives Argentina past Lithuania,, 24 August 2008, accessed 24 August 2008.
  30. Kamla, Rick, "Living the Playoffs: Manu to the Rescue",, 9 May 2008, accessed 12 May 2008.
  31. Neumann, Thomas, "The greatest floppers in NBA history", 7 June 2007, accessed 22 June 2007.
  32. In Bradley's era, top European club teams competed for the European Champions Cup; the name "Euroleague" was not used in Bradley's day, though it was later unofficially used by the competition's organizer, FIBA Europe. The term "Euroleague" was never trademarked by FIBA Europe, enabling ULEB to register it for its rival competition, which was launched in 2000–01; ULEB and FIBA Europe unified the two competitions under the Euroleague banner the following season. ULEB recognizes the European Champions Cup as part of the Euroleague's history, and considers Champions Cup titles fully equivalent to Euroleague titles.
  33. "Emanuel Ginobili" - Para Tí magazine
  34. Whittel, Ian, Best of the Euroleague and NBA: Manu Ginobili,, 2 May 2008, accessed 6 May 2008.


  • Frescó, Daniel, Manu, el Cielo con las Manos (2005) Aguilar 304pp. ISBN 987-04-0271-2 - biography (Spanish)

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