Manu Ginobili in the Hall of Fame



Photo credit: Keith Allison

Last week I posted something about’s David Thorpe and his post over at the mothership about Manu Ginobili. Thorpe breaks down Ginobili’s game in the type of detail you don’t find in many mainstream internet destinations. While the idea of his piece is anointing the Thunder’s James Harden as the next Ginobili in terms of style of play, the majority of Thorpe’s words are dedicated to appreciating all the traits and skills Ginobili has blessed the American game with.

But there’s one sentence in there that I noticed on my first read of Thorpe’s post, but neglected to mention in my own. Don’t let that diminish its importance, however.

And yet, Ginobili owns three NBA titles, an Olympic gold medal and a headlock on being a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee.

Interesting, no? There’s long been discussion about Manu’s Hall of Fame worthiness. And with that, I think there are two different camps. The are the hardcore basketball, detail-oriented camps on one end. And on the other are the more casual fans. The hardcore guys, folks like Thorpe, can appreciate the subtlety to Manu’s game. They can pinpoint the things he does to control, alter and win games. The casual fans are the ones who watch every fifth or sixth game, get most of their news from highlight shows and take too much stock in box scores.

I expect that if you ask a lot of the hardcores, you get similar opinions to that of Thorpe. Not only is Manu Ginobili a Hall of Famer, he’s going in the first chance he gets. And not just as a contributor. If I posed whether or not Manu gets into the Hall of Fame to Gregg Popovich before a game, I would expect to get laughed at and have Pop’s opinion of my basketball sense lowered. Same for if I asked any other coach in the NBA.

Manu Ginobili is a special type of player that doesn’t come around often. He gets more from his physical and mental abilities than most players who’ve made it to the NBA level. Ginobili was fortunate to land in a system and organization that didn’t try to change was he was or put too much pressure on him, instead they let him grow naturally into the team and adapted all the special things that he does to the team. Ginobili eventually making the Hall of Fame may have as much to do with where he ended up as with what he did once he got there.

We’re the lucky ones for having watched both sides grow together.

  • Tyler

    Without question a Hall of Famer. 

    One of the most unique players of this generation. A guy people will remember 20 years from now, both for his skill level (single-handedly ushering in the Euro step) and well documented achievements, but also for his all out, reckless abandon, total-disregard-for-your-body style of play.

    His parallel to the floor, out of bounds save against OKC epitomizes Manu. 

  • Tyler

    Also, like everyone else I’m frustrated there’s a chance we might miss out on TD’s last year. But, to be honest, I’m most frustrated we might miss out on one of the last year of this –

  • Bob

    Pop has said it many times. Manu is as fierce a competitor as MJ. His
    competitiveness, versatile skills, and creativity make him enjoyable to
    watch. The one regret I have is that he couldn’t have played on a team
    that could have featured him more as “the man.” If so he would likely be
    a perennial all-star and he’d be talked about as much as Kobe. Right now I think the only chances of being
    contenders again is if Pop realizes that Manu has to be the center

  • ThatBigGuy

    Based on his NBA resumé alone, he does’t make the HOF. But when you consider all the other levels he’s won at, it becomes a no brainer. We tend to think the HOF is the NBA HOF, but it’s not. It’s the Basketball HOF. He’s a first ballot HOFer because his non NBA resumé is as stellar as his NBA resumé.

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  • Titletown99030507d

    How do you figure he’s not a HOF’er on his NBA resume alone? Then D Howard isnt one either at this point. I think being instrumental in 3 NBA Championship rings alone gets you in. When most people think HOF they think of the NBA first and foremost. I don’t think of college ahead of the NBA when those 3 letters are thrown around. I don’t care for college ball only when the tournament comes around at the end of the season. It’s not like I’m rushing to get home to watch college basketball on tv as opposed to rushing to get to the Spurs game on time. To me there’s no comparison. 

  • Anonymous

    Each game Manu has played can stand in for his resume.  You will never see another player play with more passion, more focus, more determination, more “for the good of the team” than Manu.  I love Tim, I love # 50, I love Ice, but what Manu has brought to the court each game has been special to watch.  To me he embodied that scrappy  player at the rec that while not the most physically talented absolutely dominated the game.  I relate to Manu because he made it look simple while not being a physical specimen.  The guy just balls.  He brings it hard every night.  He will be in the HOF, no doubt. And he belongs.

  • Baileyandre5

    No Question Manu is HOF’er

  • Bestpool

    Not before  Toni  Kukoc  for god sake remember him !!  Manu is special  but in my opinion not before Kukoc !!

  • Len

    It’s not just what Manu does but how he does it that makes him so special.  He makes plays that demoralize the opponent.  On the flip, he fires up those around him.  He brings out their best.  He makes the guys around him better, ala Larry Legend. 

    Manu is one of the greatest players of his generation.  

  • DorieStreet

    Toni Kukoc?????!!!!!!!
    He was too much hype (just like the guard the Timberwolves drafted) and didn’t deliver at the end of the day (read: his NBA career).
    I can’t recall what Kukoc did internationally, but he was just the Euro flavor/spice (barely) for the Meat & Potatoes of the Bulls when he was on the squad.

    Manu was the whirlwind contributor rookie  for the 2nd Spurs title in 2002-03, then was one of the Core 3 for the next two championships in ’05 and ’07.

    The triumverate of Ginobili, Parker and Duncan is equivalent to the Cowboys ” Triplets” of the 90’s.

  • DorieStreet

    Manu helped changed the perception that all international/foreign players are soft in the’Association’.

    His style of play is unique–no one else plays like him. He will be the player in reference when another player in the near or far future of the NBA comes in and plays with such abandon, acumen, craftiness, and unorthodox style –especially when the game is on the line.

    Championships on every team and league he has played in professionally.
    Led his team to Gold Medals in the Olympics and FIBA competition.

  • DorieStreet

    @ Titletown99020507d:

    I am a college basketball fan as much as the NBA –but the first games I saw in person were Spurs (& the Rockets when they played some games at Hemisfair Arena (saw them v. Lakers with HOFs Wilt, West (I don’t remember if Hairston was still playing) along with Goodrich)).
    It is confusing to NBA Purists about the Basketball Hall of Fame criteria/selection process.

    It would do well to clear up what that entity is all about if the HOF would put out /publicize (or replay/rebroadcast) all/any progamming about the invention of the Game by James Naismith (for one:  He invented the game at a YMCA training school (NOT ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS–which I thought).

    BTW – next month will be the 120th Anniversery of the FIRST BASKETBALL GAME EVER
                                                    December 1891

    But– getting back to the MAIN TOPIC——-Manu Ginobili is a first ballot NBA Hall of Famer:

    A GREAT PLAYER in his own Country / in South America / in Europe / in International Competition/ in FIBA/ in the Olympics / in the NBA / in the NBA Finals  —


  • DorieStreet

    Typo====led his National Team

  • titletown99030507d

    Some good points.  The earliest Basket ball I ever saw was Spurs with Swen Nater, George Karl, Billy Paultz , Gervin, J Silas, and Larry Kenon to name a few. Maybe I shouldn’t be too biased in regards to the NBA. I figure if we had a great college basketball program here in Sa I probably be right there in the flesh watching and supporting such a team. UTSA has had some decent teams but not near the greatness what is the upper class of BB programs of the past. Too many to name.

  • titletown99030507d

    I enjoyed his 2005 season. Sure wish he would have got the MVP finals.

  • titletown99030507d

    Yeah I think Manu did more his Spurs teams than Toni did for his bulls teams.

  • titletown99030507d

    El Contusion soft? Never. He’ll leave his guts on the floor if he has to.

  • Ale FB

    Robert Horry hay kazillion ring and he´s never gonna make it to the HOF. It’s not just the number of rings that get you there. Manu is a one-of-a-kind, and probably due to many non-box-score facts as the article states.

  • Gustavo Wojcicki

    Como argentino que soy, me siento orgulloso de que Manu nos represente en el mejor basquet del mundo. Me hice fan de los San Antonio Spurs desde que él empezó a jugar allí.
    Ahora veo todos los juegos. Espero obtenga antes de su retiro otro anillo más porque todo el equipo se lo merece por tantos años de lucha en cada playoffs de cada año. GO SPURS GO!!! GO MANU GO!!

  • anthony allen

    another thing bout this fanook, if i’m playing with the great tim Duncan , hell, i’ll win rings too. I mean when you have use arguments like ” he brought the euro step in” and “oh, he has the same fire as Jordan” or its not just the nba career that counts” lets you know that you have to reach just to justify your argument for him being a if you don’t say those things can you still have an argument? I think not.

  • anthony allen


  • Justin

    The reason Manu comes off the bench is because of how explosive he is. Why do you think Pop is considered the greatest coach in the NBA? He brings in a HOF player on the 2nd team to keep the depth there on the team. Manu is way better than Danny Green, but he’s more important to the 2nd team than he is to just starting. Pop has even apologized to Manu for making him come off the bench because he kept Manu from getting better stats and potential All-Star appearances. Manu revolutionized the NBA and he isn’t a HOF? C’mon.

  • RE

    Moron. Face it, you’ve never won anything

  • lskldk

    He’s unselfish. Look at James Harden. He wasn’t seen as amazing when on the Thunder, but now he is. Harden made a decision that would benefit him individually. Manu took a sacrifice for his team.

  • lskldk

    I agree Duncan’s amazing. If you’re talking about the 02-03 championship, it Manu’s first season and yes, Timmy carried the team, but after his rookie season, he had a big impact, such as in the 04-05 finals. He also led the National Argentinian Team to a gold medal in 2004. His true impact is seen on the worldwide scale.