Manu Ginobili is tougher than you, me [Updated]
I once sat out a high school basketball game with a sprained ankle that I suffered the day before. In my defense, I was already a slow and unathletic player when completely healthy and the ankle injury rendered me practically motionless.
If he heard that story, Manu Ginobili would probably stare at me blankly and leave the room without saying a word. That, or laugh at me uncontrollably until I’m at the point of tears. One or the other. No in between.
News has come out, thanks to the Spanish translating powers of Project Spurs, that Manu Ginobili’s sprained right elbow, suffered in the final game of the regular season, was in fact a humerus fracture. Basically, a broken upper arm. The injury news has since been confirmed by the Spurs.
Manu Ginobili playedthe final five games of the Spurs’ doomed first round series with the Memphis Grizzlies with a fractured right arm that was wrapped in foam padding and the hopes and dreams of all of San Antonio. That is a painfully impressive feat by the Argentine.
As reader Rogelio Garcia pointed out on our Facebook page, this is probably at least some of the motivation for Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich’s comments questioning the significance of the Boston Celtics Rajon Rondo’s elbow injury. When asked about Rondo coming back from a dislocated elbow in Boston’s second round series against the Miami Heat, Pop told the San Antonio Express-News:
“It’s really been hard to watch the playoffs and have them make Rondo out like Willis Reed,” Popovich said Thursday, in wide-ranging interview with the Express-News. “It’s like, Manu couldn’t even play the first game (against Memphis), and we probably shouldn’t have played him again. He went out there and worked through it, and you didn’t hear any of that kind of crap.”
“It’s like Rondo is the next coming of Willis Reed, the thing he did and the character he showed,” Popovich said. “Maybe he did show character and he was tough and all that, but it is no different than what Manu did. That just kind of angers me on a selfish level, so to speak.”
If Coach Pop knew what we all know now, that Manu actually had a fractured arm, then that justifies his comments somewhat. But watching the replays of Rondo’s elbow over and over again, Rondo’s injury was definitely gross, so Pop’s assessment is still a little harsh. Nonetheless, I think you can understand where he’s coming from a little more now.
As news of Manu’s fracture comes out — and looking at the fact that Ginobili averaged 20 points, four boards and four assists a game in San Antonio’s first round series with the Memphis Grizzlies — Tony Allen looks like a bit of a jerk-face. Allen, you may remember, questioned the authenticity of Ginobili’s injury during the playoffs.
“It’s for the birds,” Allen said. “Everybody is banged up. You don’t see me running to my PR guy telling him about an injury.”
Granted, Allen could’ve been trying to rile things up for the teams’ first round series when he made that comment; he may not have been sincere. But TA’s comments don’t look like the smartest at this point.
While one of the floppiest players in the NBA, Manu Ginobili continues to be one of the toughest also. The news of Ginobili’s injury leaking out now, more than four weeks after the Spurs season ended and almost six weeks since the injury occurred, proves the Spurs organization as one of the stealthiest.
[Update: Jeff McDonald of the Express-News tweets that Manu's fractured arm may not be as big of a story as we all think it is.]