Manu Ginobili Commits to Playing for Argentina in Rio 2016 Olympics

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2016

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 17:  Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on March 17, 2016 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photos by Chris Covatta/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chris Covatta/Getty Images

San Antonio Spurs star guard Manu Ginobili will play for Argentina this summer in the Rio Olympics, according to the Argentine Basketball Federation and translated by John Howe of NBC.

The CABB also tweeted the following image:

Ginobili, 38, is averaging 9.4 points, 3.1 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game with the Spurs this season. 

Ginobili appeared in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics for Argentina, averaging 18.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals in 23 total games. He led the country to the gold medal in 2004—making Argentina the only country to win a gold medal other than the United States since the Soviet Union took home gold in 1988—and a bronze medal in 2008.

Ginobili will join Toronto Raptors forward Luis Scola and Real Madrid's Andres Nocioni to lead an Argentina side that will expect to return to the medals podium after failing to do so in 2012. Argentina is currently ranked fourth in the FIBA world rankings, however, behind the United States, Spain and Lithuania. 

While the Americans will once again be the prohibitive favorite to earn gold, the battle for silver and bronze should be fierce. Spain is always a threat, and Lithuania is dangerous, while France, Brazil and even Australia—which could boast NBA talents in Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova and college star Ben Simmons—will be tough matchups.

Argentina's medal chances certainly improved dramatically with Ginobili's decision to compete this summer, however.


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