Manu to Argentine reporter: ‘Two more years and then … I don’t know’

This was inevitable: As soon as Argentina began playing “friendly” warmup games to prepare for the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament that begins on Aug. 30 in Mar del Plata, Argentine sports journalists were going to take every opportunity to ask Manu Ginobili and some of his longtime teammates from the “golden generation” about their long-term basketball plans.

Thus, a story about Ginobili that ran Sunday in “El Tribuno,” following Argentina’s friendly triumph over Paraguay, 82056, in Salta, Argentina. The story is headlined “There is a high possibility of leaving basketball in two years.”

Of course, Ginobili will be 36 when his contract with the Spurs expires in two years, so it is hardly a surprise that he said he didn’t know how he might feel about continuing his career once that contract expires.

With translation help from my friend, Joe Alvarez, here is Ginobili’s response to the question, posed by the El Tribuno reporter, “How much longer until Manu leaves basketball?”

Ginobili: “I’m going to play for two more years for sure. When that day comes and I’m a free agent with open possibilities, I’m going to decide if I  want to continue to pay, or not; if I do it in SA, or if I go somewhere else.

“There is a high probability that I’ll ‘leave’ in two or three years, but I don’t want to say yes or no because I don’t know.”

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