Ginobili: Contract no cause for worry

By Mike Monroe

Just as Spurs captain Tim Duncan angered his agent when he declared himself a Spur for life weeks before hitting the free-agent market in June, veteran guard Manu Ginobili on Monday undercut what bargaining power he may have had when his contract expires in July.

Saying that he plays for the love of the game, Ginobili asserted that being in the final season of a three-year, $38.8 million contract won’t change his approach this season.

“I don’t even think like this,” he said. “I don’t care. If it’s for a lot of money, a huge amount of money, I don’t care. I’m fine with what I’ve earned in my career. That is not a point of emphasis this year. I just want to play well and help my team make it as far as last year.”

Ginobili, 35, gave no hint if he will play beyond this season, but stressed his preference to stay with the Spurs if he does.

“If I’m going to play next year, it’s highly likely it’s going to be here,” he said. “So I really don’t care (about this being a contract season).”

Big addition: It was hard to miss the surprise addition to the training camp roster during Monday’s media day session. Seven-foot, 295-pound center Eddy Curry always has been a magnet for attention, starting with his selection at the No. 4 overall pick in the 2001 draft.

Curry, with career averages of 13.0 points and 5.2 rebounds over 10 seasons with the Bulls, Knicks and Heat, was signed to a non-guaranteed contract after participating in open gym sessions last week. He says he lost 15 to 20 pounds over the summer.

“I came here last week, and I like how they play,” Curry said. “I think I showed them I can get up and down the court when I came here. I think Pop knows what I can do. The main thing now is just to build on that and have a good camp.”

After playing pickup games with Curry, Duncan said he was encouraged by his conditioning.

“I see potential, potential, potential,” Duncan said. “He does seem fit, and I think he’s anxious. I hope that translates into something. He’s a heck of a body, a heck of a talent, and I hope we can turn that into something and give us another huge piece. It would be great.”

Curry is one of six non-roster players invited to camp and one of three with NBA experience. Other former NBA players are 6-8 forward Derrick Brown and 6-9 forward Josh Powell.

Also invited to camp: 5-11 guard Sherron Collins, 6-8 forward Tyler Wilkerson and 6-9 forward Wesley Witherspoon.
Twitter: @Monroe_SA

Leave a Reply