The 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup is fast approaching and Team Argentina is starting to take shape.
Mainstays such as Andres Nocioni and Luis Scola have committed to play this summer in Spain but according to Team Argentina’s head coach Julio Lamas, San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili has yet to give him an answer.
Lamas went on to state that Manu hasn’t simply had a chance to give a decision on whether or not he will suit up this summer.
Manu has been on record stating his decision depends totally on his health heading into the offseason.
“If I am in good shape, there are more chances that I will play the World Cup,” said Ginobili in a press conference at Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza international airport, minutes after his arrival to Argentina for holidays.
Ginobili, 35, added that “it depends, exclusively, on my physical condition. I had a complicated season. If I am healthy, there are more chances I can play (the World Cup),” he insisted.
Ginobili recently signed a new two-year deal with the Spurs but it seems he could be pulling double-duty this summer. There’s also the fact Manu will be 36 by the time the World Cup gets going next summer.
Considering the Spurs will more than likely have yet another deep postseason run next season, Manu (who showed signs of wearing down last season) might be pushing it a bit much this summer.
Granted he did stress he needs to be physically ready if is he to play in Spain next summer but his age, wear-and-tear on his body and not to mention a new deal, may make Spurs fans and coaching staff cringe at not seeing him rest next summer heading into what more than likely will be his final season (2014-15) with San Antonio after the World Cup.
However, the allure and pride of representing his home country is profound in Manu’s heart. A chance to boost Team Argentina’s chance at the next Olympic Games means a lot for Ginobili. Time after time he has answered the call for his home country and a shot at playing one more time in the blue and white of Argentina is enough for him to lace them up one more time in the summer.
Since he did skip playing for Team Argentina in 2010 at the FIBA World Championship, hearing Manu will lace up his sneakers this summer in Spain won’t be a surprise.
In the end, if this is the final run in basketball for Manu, then him playing for his country one more time is something no one can blame him for doing. Not even Spurs fans.