After coming off a grueling season that led to his team winning their fifth NBA title, San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili has little time to rest as he is preparing to participate in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup with the Argentine national team later this summer.
The news has left some Spurs fans unhappy, but they know the passion and love Ginobili has for playing for his country.
Last Friday, Ginobili made it official on Twitter as he tweeted in both English and Spanish, “see you in Spain 2014!”
In an interview with an Argentine website, Noticias Net on Monday, Ginobili admitted the long season has left him in pain.
“It was not an easy decision because, at almost 37 years, I have pain everywhere.”
That’s not too surprising considering his age and the long 2013-14 NBA season, but what’s concerning, is he is still willing to risk injury and wear-and-tear next season where the Spurs could repeat as champs for the first time in team history.
Training camp with Argentina is right around the corner for the Spurs guard when it begins on July 25. The FIBA tournament will be from August 30-September 14. That doesn’t leave Ginobili much time to rest for the Spurs, who usually begin training camp for the 2014-15 season in early October.
Ginobili has always said he was not officially retired from international play and would continue as long as he is healthy. This past season he had a few minor hamstring injuries, but fought through it and had one of the best seasons in recent memory for San Antonio.
Spurs general manager R.C. Buford commented the reason Ginobili played at such a high level was due to the fact he sat out playing overseas last year after the Spurs fell short in the 2013 NBA Finals to rest his body and now fans are questioning his decision to play this summer.
Other Spurs set to play for their countries are Boris Diaw, Patty Mills, Tiago Splitter and Aron Baynes. Kawhi Leonard may also be on the court if he makes Team USA. Tony Parker is sitting this summer out and will rest up, so it may possibly balance out with Ginobili playing.
Ginobili’s decision to play is very controversial for Spurs fans, but he knows the risk. Fans will just have to put their trust in Manu and hope for the best.
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