Manu talks retirement

As if the NBA lockout hasn’t been hard enough on basketball fans, Thursday afternoon brought another bummer to Spurs faithful.

Manu Ginobili talking about his basketball mortality.

, Ginobili says he isn’t necessarily committed to calling it quits once his current contract expires after the 2012-13 season, but he does recognize the reality that time is not on his side.

He will be 36 years old then, a ripe old age for an NBA shooting guard. It isn’t a stretch to assume that could be Ginobili’s final season in silver and black.

Loosed from the rigors of an NBA job, Ginobili would finally be free to pursue full-time his true passion:

Elsewhere in the Argentine interview, Ginobili seems to frown upon the idea that he might return overseas, to play out his final years as a conquering hero, once his NBA contract is up.

“I always thought about retiring at the highest level,” Ginobili said (hat tip to for the translation).

One year older than Ginobili, Tim Duncan has always addressed the retirement issue by vowing to play, vaguely, “until the wheels fall off.” Ginobili would seem to be built in the same mold. He will likely keep playing NBA basketball for as long as someone will pay him to do it.

Still, if the ongoing NBA lockout eventually ends up cancelling games, it will be difficult not to consider the twilight years of Ginobili’s and Duncan’s careers as unfortunate collateral damage.

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