In case you weren’t aware, my favorite sports team is the San Antonio Spurs. A blog that will be posted in the coming weeks will go into detail as to why they mean so much to me. For now, this is a brief thank you to Manu Ginobili, perhaps my favorite Spur, in honor of his retirement ceremony tonight.

The earliest memory of an actual Spurs game I watched is from Game 7 of 2006 Western Conference Finals. I had little knowledge of what was going on, as I had just started acknowledging the NBA existing. I only knew the names of a few players on the court. The only memory that sticks from that game involved Dirk making a late basket and the look of disbelief on Ginobili’s face. I wasn’t sure of what had just happened but I could feel the sadness that the Spurs players felt. When they lost the game, I just remember being sad and never wanting to feel like that again. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was the moment I became a Spurs fan.

The reason I was watching the Spurs? No, it was not because of Timmy (Tim Duncan), it was because of Manu Ginobili.  Growing up in a hispanic household where my parents did not know much english meant that we would get the Spanish channel package.  Never had regular ESPN, but we had ESPN Deportes (Spanish ESPN). It felt like every time I watched that channel with my dad, there would be soccer on the screen, which was great.  However the few times there wouldn’t be soccer, I would see Manu on the screen; I would see the Spurs on the screen.

Manu is the reason I first fell in love with basketball.

When he announced his retirement, I felt empty inside. He was the last remaining member of the Big Three at San Antonio. Yet, I knew it was coming sooner rather than later. I’ll be holding back tears tonight, but I’m happy for everything he has accomplished in his hall-of-fame career.

Manu is perfectly reckless. He’s a bat-killing machine. He had beautiful flowing hair that turned into a signature bald spot.

His plays were electric. From his dunk on Chris Bosh in Game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals to his block on Harden, the mesmerizing passes, the Euro-steps, the clutch plays….Manu has made me jump out of my seat in anger and excitement over the past 12 years.

He’s perfect. And I’m thankful for all the memories he has given me since I’ve started watching basketball. Watching him play has meant more to me than I could ever express.

Gracias Manu. Gracias por todo.



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