On Friday, San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili stated he's confident he can still help the Argentina national team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. He's less certain about his future in the NBA once the Spurs end their latest championship pursuit.
Melissa Rohlin of the San Antonio Express-News passed along comments from the 38-year-old star, who helped Argentina win a gold medal at the 2004 Games. He's planning to make his services available again in the summer based on how his body is holding up.
"I'm feeling good, feeling healthy and I feel like I can contribute to my team. So why not?" he said.
National team head coach Sergio Hernandez was happy to hear about the decision, as Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com relayed:
To say that Manu's availability makes me happy personally is to put it mildly. That is not significant. His was a very brave decision and at the same time very correct, from my point of view. He will be able to end his career with the national team at an Olympic Games. This is the most important news for Argentine sport at this moment. Ginobili is a symbol. Welcome Manu. And now we shall enjoy this.
Ginobili also spoke about his future with the Spurs, per Rohlin: "I take the seasons month by month, not season by season. I know I have one more Olympics in me. If I have another season, we'll see."
Although Ginobili is averaging a career-low 9.4 points per game this season, his efficiency has improved as the team's spark plug off the bench. His shooting percentages are up across the board, including a 37 percent mark from beyond the arc.
He figures to take on a more extensive role with Argentina in the summer. He's still one of the national team's most dynamic offensive threats with the group looking to reverse a trend of fading results on the Olympic stage. It failed to medal in 2012 for the first time since 2000.
Beyond that, the fact that he's noncommittal about going through another NBA season doesn't come as much of a surprise. He took his time while considering his future last summer before ultimately deciding to return for at least one more year.
Ginobili holds a player option for the 2016-17 campaign, which carries a cap hit of slightly over $3 million should he want to return, per Spotrac. San Antonio won't rush him into a decision, which could hinge on how well he performs in Rio de Janeiro.
Between trying to chase down another NBA title and getting one more chance to represent his home nation on the Olympic stage, it's setting up to be a memorable couple of months for Ginobili.