Argentina vs. Russia: Manu Ginobili Will Finish Olympic Career on Podium

Tony Giardina@@tonygiardinaCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 08:  Manu Ginobili #5 of Argentina moves the ball against Alex Garcia #8 of Brazil in the second half during the Men's Basketball quaterfinal game on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 8, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Argentina's "golden generation" led by San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili will likely play their last game together Sunday.

Ginobili, along with fellow NBA players Luis Scola and Carlos Delfino, have played key roles on both the 2004 Athens team that won gold and 2008 Beijing squad that took home the bronze. Andres Nocioni and Leo Gutierrez also played important roles in both Olympics and are back for a third time. 

Four of the five players are over 30 years of age and may not compete in Rio. If they do, it will certainly be at a less productive level. This is it for the Argentina national team—the end of a long, successful run. 

Ginobili discussed his thoughts on playing with Argentina beyond these Olympics (via AP, h/t Yahoo! Sports). 

A lot of things can happen. I'm 35. I know the chances are less every year, but I can't say I am retiring because I don't know.

He also shared his feelings about the "golden generation" and the end of their reign. 

It's probably going to be one of the highlights of my career, this group,'' Ginobili said. ''I'm very proud of representing my country with these guys. We are trying to make our legend even bigger by getting another medal. Once it's over and we go home with the bronze on our chests, we'll talk about it and see how it feels.

One of the bright spots in these Olympic Games, Ginobili has averaged 19.1 points and 5.7 rebounds to go along with 4.3 assists thus far. He led the team with 18 points in the semifinal loss to the U.S. and looks to end his Olympic career with a medal. 

Russia won't be an easy victory, though, as they went 4-1 in group play and upset Spain in the process. Led by Andrei Kirilenko's 17.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, Russia have the ability to compete with anyone. 

It will be a hard-fought game, but Ginobili and the group of Argentinian stars will go out with a bang and take home their third consecutive Olympic medal.