Ginobili has been inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.

Argentinian Manu Ginobili, who has an unparalleled record in the Italian league, his country’s national team and the NBA, entered the sports Olympus this Saturday with his official induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield (Massachusetts, USA). ).

The ceremony began with a tribute to Bill Russell, the unforgettable Boston Celtics center who passed away on July 31st at the age of 88, and 15 other basketball professionals who were recognized in various fields.

The star of the night, Ginobili, who drew loud applause and cheers in Symphony Hall, drew a crowd of local fans, and most of all, was seated next to his children and wife. media attention until now, his eyes were watery when they were introduced and the audience came crashing down.

He took the stage accompanied by the inseparable Tim Duncan, who made history with the San Antonio Spurs (four NBA rings).

Team person

Without falling into bad habits, the genius of the “euro step” celebrated for his hunger for victory, the magician of impossible pipes and the decisive three-point shooter, began by emphasizing that if he came this far, it was because of his teams. played.

In the year Before landing in the NBA in 2002, Ginobili established himself in Argentine basketball and in Italy, winning the MVP in his first two years with Virtus Bologna and winning the Triple Crown (including the Euroleague) in the 2000 season. -2001.

Argentina team 5 and 20 of San Antonio Spurs (both jerseys retired) thanked his Italian team mates.

The left-handed shooting guard came to the NBA in 2002 (he won the first of his four rings that year), was a two-time All-Star and was voted the sixth best player in the league in one season.

“Grandpa” finished his 16-year NBA career at age 40 and had 14,043 points, 4,001 assists, 3,697 rebounds and 1,392 steals.

Emotionally and on several occasions on the verge of tears, Ginobili shared stories about how he came to the NBA lost and found “family.”

“You need a lot of pieces to win a championship,” he affirmed, crediting the inseparable Duncan and Tony Parker and coach Gregg Popovich, as well as the entire clubhouse staff.

Two amazing runs

“The craziest thing” the Argentinian remembered was winning two equally important races and missing his compatriots with a victory but a fraternal defeat.

Ginobili led Argentina to gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics and silver at the 2002 Basketball World Cup in Indianapolis.

From 2008 to 2012, he was one of the people responsible for making Argentina’s team number 1 in the FIBA ​​rankings.

Gold in Athens and former Madrid player Andre Nocioni told Efe shortly before Ginobili’s speech that his countryman is “an unusual player, different, able to make his teammates better and make the team better.”

“The talent beyond the individual, I think is Manu’s greatness. That’s why he’s so important in American basketball,” he asserted.

The most emotional part of the night was when Ginobili remembered his father.

“I wish you were here, Dad. I miss you so much, old man,” he said.

Ginobili told his three children, who were sitting next to his wife, that sharing this moment was the most important thing that had ever happened to him.

Manu’s followers take Springfield

An Argentine accent was heard this Saturday in Springfield, where Canadian physical education teacher James Naismith invented basketball in 1891.

In the streets, restaurants and gas stations in the center of the city, the proud voseo of South American fans can be heard this weekend.

Diego Armando Maradona is best known for football and football as he fills up his tank at a gas station near the Naismith Memorial to Ife, the Argentinian who lives in Chicago and doesn’t want to miss the Thanksgiving ceremony. It’s football.

“But if Diego is 10, Manu is 20,” he said.

However, the ubiquitous uniform in Springfield today is the Spurs uniform, and most of the wearers have Mexican accents.

Enrique Gallardo, a retired employee in San Antonio who has followed the Spurs “since they started in the NBA” and bought plane tickets in April to celebrate with his whole family, argued that Ginobili “changed” the franchise. .

“We’ve never seen anything like it. The best in the world has arrived.”

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