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YouTube Gold: NBA Players On Manu Ginóbili

Ginóbili was one of the most creative players in NBA history.

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

Here’s a great trivia question/bar argument: who are the greatest second round picks of all time?

Obviously you'd have to take Nikola Jokić. Draymond Green probably too and we’d argue for Mark Price. Toni Kukoc was a second round draft pick and he was brilliant. You could make an argument for Carlos Boozer as well.

But the captain of that team? It almost has to be Manu Ginóbili.

When Ginóbili got to the NBA, he had a hard time adapting to the style of play, plus he had an injury. But it didn’t take long for him to figure it out and became a useful contributor. And in the playoffs, he began to unveil his greatness, helping the Spurs win the 2003 NBA championship.

And soon the NBA understood that it had a creative genius on its hands. Watch for the play where he’s running upcourt and passes the ball between Dermar DeRozan’s legs. Even DeRozan couldn’t believe it and says he’d liked to see it again.

Watch as this guy has split-second reactions to all sorts of situations and responds in ways that only a handful of people have ever been able to do. His instincts are phenomenal. He was arguably more athletic than Larry Bird or Tim Duncan, but like those fellow geniuses, Ginóbili had a way of playing the game at his own pace, in his own way, and forcing everyone to deal with him.

In athletic terms, the guy was absolutely a genius.