One of last season’s oldest active NBA players is calling it a career.
Manu Ginobili, who played all 16 of his seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, announced his retirement Monday.
Today, with a wide range of feelings, I'm announcing my retirement from basketball. IMMENSE GRATITUDE to everyone (family, friends, teammates, coaches, staff, fans) involved in my life in the last 23 years. It's been a fabulous journey. Way beyond my wildest dreams. pic.twitter.com/3MLCUtmd6K— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) August 27, 2018
Last season, Ginobili was the second-oldest active player in the NBA. He’s about six months younger than former Kings swingman Vince Carter, who left Sacramento this summer to join the Atlanta Hawks.
Like several around the NBA, some Kings past and present are showing love to the 41-year-old Argentina native.
The organization shared a video in which Ginobili caught a bat that was flying around during a Kings-Spurs game back in 2009 at AT&T Center — on Halloween, of all days.
“Thanks for being the hero the NBA deserved,” the Kings tweeted.
Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, who will begin his second NBA season, shared a story on Instagram with the word “Legend” and some crying emojis.
Another second-year player, forward Justin Jackson, spoke out on Twitter.
Thank you @manuginobili!! An honor playing against a Legend.— Justin Jackson (@JJacks_44) August 27, 2018
George Hill, a former King who has played with the Spurs alongside Ginobili, also took to Twitter.
Wow what a career @manuginobili it was a pleasure sharing the court with you, learning from you, the amazing team dinners, and long flights with great conversations and then competing against you! You will be missed Thanks For Everything #LivingLegend #20 #Batman— INDIANA GEORGE HILL (@George_Hill3) August 27, 2018
So did Rudy Gay, another former King who was Ginobili’s teammate last season.
Wow got to play with one of my favorite players in his last season. Thanks for all you did for the game gramps @manuginobili— Rudy Gay (@RudyGay) August 27, 2018
Isaiah Thomas, taken by the Kings as the final pick of the 2011 draft, showed his appreciation.
For all the love shown by those with connections to the Kings, the team might be happy to not face him anymore. In 45 games against Sacramento, Ginobili averaged 15.1 points, which ties for his second-highest against one team (15.1 points per game in 28 games against the Orlando Magic). His best was 15.8 ppg in 25 contests against the Atlanta Hawks.
Overall, the two-time All-Star finished his NBA career with averages of 13.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 1,057 games, including four championships. He also played on Argentina’s Olympic gold-medal team in the 2004 Athens Games.