Report: Manu Ginobili Joining Spurs as Special Adviser to Basketball Operations

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 24, 2021

San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili celebrates a three-point basket during the second half of Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Golden State Warriors in San Antonio, Sunday, April 22, 2018, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 103-90. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
AP Photo/Darren Abate

Former San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili is reportedly returning to the organization in a front-office role.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Ginobili will serve as the Spurs' special adviser to basketball operations. Wojnarowski noted it will be "a player-centric role that's focused on the development of players on and off the court."

The 44-year-old Ginobili, who retired after the 2017-18 season, spent his entire 16-year NBA career in San Antonio.

Per Wojnarowski, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, CEO R.C. Buford and general manager Brian Wright have been attempting to bring Ginobili back into the fold since his retirement.

The Argentine basketball legend is among the greatest players in Spurs history, having won four championships, earned two All-Star nods and won the 2007-08 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.

Ginobili appeared in 1,057 regular-season games, averaging 13.3 points, 3.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.4 three-pointers made and 1.3 steals per contest.

His best production came from 2004-05 through 2010-11 as he averaged 16.8 points, 4.2 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game.

Ginobili was known for raising his level of play during the postseason as well, averaging 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.5 three-pointers made and 1.3 steals in 218 playoff games.

Along with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, Ginobili is synonymous with the success of the Spurs throughout the 2000s and 2010s. The Spurs retired Ginobili's No. 20 in 2019.

In addition to his success with the Spurs, Ginobili led his country to basketball greatness. With Ginobili as the central figure, Argentina won gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics, making it the last country other than the United States to win Olympic gold in men's basketball.

The Spurs never missed the playoffs during Ginobili's time with the organization, but they have had a tougher go in recent years.

After getting knocked out in the first round in both 2017-18 and 2018-19, the Spurs missed the playoffs each of the past two seasons. The last time they missed the playoffs before then was in 1996-97.

With Ginobili set to be involved in the organization again, San Antonio will look to return to the playoffs in 2021-22.