Childhood & Early Life
Manu was born Emanuel David Ginóbili on July 28, 1977, in Bahía Blanca, Argentina, to Raquel and Jorge Ginóbili. His father was the manager for a local basketball club called ‘Bahiense del Norte.’
His older brothers Leandro and Sebastián played professional basketball. While Leandro played in the Argentine basketball league, Sebastián played for professional clubs in Spain. Both his brothers were star players for ‘Bahiense del Norte.’
Ginóbili often accompanied his father and brothers to games and practice sessions. He started watching the ‘NBA’ and idolized Michael Jordan. He was trained by Oscar Sanchez and Fabiam Horvath at ‘Bahiense del Norte.’
He spent his childhood playing the game with his best friend Pepe Sanchez who went on to play for Argentina’s junior national team during his teens. Ginóbili made his professional debut at the age of 18 when he played for the ‘Andino Sport Club’ in the Argentine basketball league.
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After making his debut during the 1995–96 Argentine basketball league season, Ginóbili was drafted by ‘Club Estudiantes de Bahía Blanca’ for the subsequent season. In 1998, he moved to Europe to play for the Italian club ‘Viola Reggio Calabria.’
Ginóbili entered the 1999 ‘NBA’ draft and was selected by ‘San Antonio Spurs’ in the second round of the draft. However, he did not sign with the ‘Spurs’ but returned to Italy to play for another Italian club called ‘Virtus Segafredo Bologna.’ In 2001, he helped the Italian club win the ‘Italian Basketball Cup’ (Coppa Italia), ‘Italian League Championship,’ and ‘EuroLeague.’
He was signed by ‘San Antonio Spurs’ for the 2002–03 NBA season. At the beginning of the season, Ginóbili suffered an injury which kept him out of action for a while. By the end of the season, he was named in the ‘All-Rookie Second Team’ and also won the ‘Western Conference Rookie of the Month’ award.
He started playing regularly for ‘Spurs’ when the team entered the 2003 ‘NBA Playoffs.’ He helped the team win its second championship. His impressive performance in the playoffs won him Argentina’s sportsperson of the year award. He also earned an opportunity to meet the then Argentine president Néstor Kirchner.
‘Spurs’ entered the 2004 playoffs when Ginóbili was on top of his game. During the playoffs, he averaged 13.0 points, 3.1 assists, and 5.3 rebounds per game. Despite Ginóbili's impressive show, his team lost in the Western Conference Semifinals against ‘Los Angeles Lakers.’ Throughout the 2003–04 NBA season, he averaged 12.8 points, 3.8 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game.
Ginóbili was retained by the ‘San Antonio Spurs’ for the 2004–05 season. He played every single game throughout the season and helped his team to qualify for the 2005 playoffs. During the playoff, he averaged 20.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Eventually, he helped the ‘Spurs’ win its third championship.
He suffered multiple injuries during the 2005–06 NBA season that kept him from displaying his best performance. Though he recovered in time and started playing well during the 2006 playoffs, he couldn’t help his team win another championship as the ‘Spurs’ lost in the Conference Semifinals against ‘Dallas Mavericks.’
During the second half of the 2006–07 season, Ginóbili assumed the role of the sixth man to provide the much-needed bench strength to the team. The ‘San Antonio Spurs’ qualified for the 2007 NBA playoffs and went on to beat ‘Cleveland Cavaliers’ in the finals to win its fourth championship.
Despite coming up with career-high averages in assists, rebounds, and points during the 2007–08 season, he couldn’t prevent the ‘Spurs’ from losing in the Conference Finals against ‘Los Angeles Lakers.’ In 2008, Ginóbili won the ‘Sixth Man of the Year Award’ and was named in the ‘All-NBA Third Team.’
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During the 2008–09 season, Ginóbili suffered multiple injuries and played only 44 games throughout the season. He did not play during the 2009 playoffs and his team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. On April 9, 2010, ‘San Antonio Spurs’ extended his contract for $39 million. At the end of the 2010–11 season, Ginobili was named in the ‘NBA All-Star Game’ for the second time in his ‘NBA’ career.
On July 11, 2013, Ginóbili inked a two-year deal with the ‘Spurs’ and helped the team reach the 2014 NBA Finals. His team defeated ‘Miami Heat’ in the finals and clinched its fifth championship.
On July 20, 2015, Ginóbili renewed his contract with the ‘Spurs.’ On January 14, 2016, he played his 900th ‘NBA’ game for the ‘Spurs’ and helped his team to a win against ‘Cleveland Cavaliers.’ On February 3, he suffered a testicular injury in a game against the ‘New Orleans Pelicans.’ He underwent surgery the following day and was sidelined for a month.
In January 2018, Ginóbili became the first player in ‘NBA’ to score 20 points or more in multiple games while playing as the sixth man at the age of 40. He also became the first player since Michael Jordan to score 15 points or more in consecutive games at the age of 40.
At the 1997 ‘FIBA Under-21 World Championship,’ Ginóbili played for the junior Argentine national team. He made his debut for the senior team at the 1998 ‘FIBA World Championship’ in Athens.
He helped his national team win the silver medal at the 2002 ‘FIBA World Championship.’ At the 2004 ‘Athens Summer Olympics,’ Ginóbili came up with an impressive performance to help his team win the gold medal for the first time in 16 years.
He then represented his national team at the 2006 ‘FIBA World Championship’ before becoming the flag bearer for Argentina at the 2008 ‘Summer Olympics’ in Beijing, China. During the Olympic Games, Argentina played well to win the bronze medal match against Lithuania. He went on to represent Argentina in the 2012 and 2016 ‘Summer Olympics’ held at London and Rio respectively.
Family & Personal Life
Ginóbili married Marianela Oroño in 2004. On May 16, 2010, Ginóbili and his wife were blessed with twin boys, Nicola and Dante. Marianela Oroño gave birth to their third son Luca on April 21, 2014.
His brother Sebastián works as the technical director for a professional basketball team named ‘Bahía Basket.’ He is a former player who has represented the Argentine senior team. His oldest brother Leandro played in the ‘Argentinean League’ for 14 years.