SAN ANTONIO: Manu Ginobili, who helped Argentina win 2004 Olympic gold and contributed to four NBA titles by the San Antonio Spurs, confirmed on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) he will return to the Spurs next season.
The 37-year-old guard even had a mention for teammate Tim Duncan in his Twitter announcement that he would be back for a 14th NBA campaign, saying: “Happy to announce that I’m coming back next season. #gospursgo #TDwouldvemissedmetoomuch.”
The Spurs received more good news later Monday with a reported deal for free agent forward David West, a two-time NBA All-Star who spent the past four seasons at Indiana after eight more with New Orleans.
No contracts can be signed until Thursday, when salary cap limits for the 2015-16 season will be made official, but teams and players can talk and agree to terms before then.
Coming off the bench last season, Ginobili averaged 10.5 points, 4.2 assists and 3.0 rebounds a game. His career averages, all with the Spurs, are 14.3 points, 4.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals a game.
The Spurs lost to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of last season’s NBA playoffs, prompting Ginobili to consider retirement. But Ginobili said Duncan’s decision would factor into his choice and Duncan agreed to return last week.
San Antonio also picked up free agent star LaMarcus Aldridge, who tweeted Saturday he was joining the Spurs after nine seasons with Portland.
Ginobili, named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2008 when he went to more of a reserve role, was a major player for Argentina’s gold medal run at the Athens Games, the only time US men with NBA talent failed to win Olympic gold.
The South American standout helped the Spurs win NBA titles in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014, when San Antonio defeated a LeBron James-led Miami Heat side in the final.