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YouTube Gold: Manu Ginobli

Ginobli redefined international basketball

San Antonio Spurs v Portland Trail Blazers
PORTLAND, OR - JANUARY 07: Manu Ginobli #20 of the San Antonio Spurs in action against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center on January 7, 2018 in Portland, Oregon.
Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Manu Ginobli’s time with the San Antonio Spurs has ended but not his impact. A native of Argentina, he was the heart of the Golden Generation, Argentina’s rise to international basketball greatness, peaking with gold in the 2004 Olympics.

As a Spur, he was just incredible. He was sort of a combination of Larry Bird and Mark Price. He had a lot of Bird’s free flowing creativity with some of Price’s quickness. He could also jump a bit and had great timing.

When you watch this video, you’ll see him make some amazing passes, including one right between Kobe Bryant’s legs. Basketball at its heart is deceptive improvisation and you’ll seem repeatedly flow through the game, going behind his back, through his legs, angling the ball off the backboard at impossible angles.

Ginobli was a superb package of reflex, talent and intuition and, in many ways, was the template for Luka Doncic, who does a lot of the same things.