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According to ESPN's Ric Bucher, Manu Ginobili and the San Antonio Spurs have agreed to a deal. The deal is to be worth $38.9 million for three years.
However, it is reported the deal could fall through.
The San Antonio Spurs and guard Manu Ginobili have agreed to a three-year extension worth $38.9 million, a league source confirmed Wednesday.
The deal is the maximum the Spurs are allowed to offer Ginobili under the current collective bargaining agreement, based on Ginobili's current salary and age (32).
The contract will not be completed before Ginobili and the team return to San Antonio from their current road trip and the possibility remains the deal could fall apart. Whatever concerns the Spurs might have about Ginobili's injury issues over the last few seasons, though, have been allayed by his performance the last two months.
With tonight's game against the Phoenix Suns just a few hours away, I spoke to Greg Esposito, Senior Content Director at Fanster, writer of The Sports Retorter and an avid fan of the team the Spurs love to beat.
Every time Greg and I get together, we let the cheap shots fly, but you can always expect a pretty balanced game preview.
The following are his answers to my pregame questions.
1. The Spurs and Suns have some history, but has this once rivalry (at least in the eyes of Suns fans) flamed out?
It hasn't flamed out from a Suns perspective. We have inshrined an eternal flame of hate that will forever burn brightly for the Spurs. No matter who is the coach or who is playing, as long as they have silver and black on there will be a rivalry from a Phoenix perspective, at least until we beat the Spurs in the playoffs on the way to an NBA title. (Editors Note: Yea, that's never happening.)
2. Prior to their last loss, the Suns seemed to be on fire, but the Spurs just finished a grueling stretch with wins over the Celtics, Magic, Cavs and Lakers. Records aside, which team is at their best right now?
I think these two teams are about as even as teams can be. Both have gotten hot at the right time and are playing their best basketball right now. Also, both are battling injuries while doing it. Like most of the teams in the West, these two are so close in talent it's tough to call.
3. The Suns are hosting Clone Wars night on Sunday. Will the Suns ever be genetically-modified clones of NBA champions?
We were actually hoping that the Spurs were in town for this night. Since you are, of course, the evil empire. With that said, I think if the Suns are to win a championship it will be in an unconventional way. This franchise has never been willing to accept the "status quo" and will never play the boring, yet efficient, style that Gregg Popovich has brainwashed...I mean coached the Spurs to play. Eventually there will be an NBA title in Phoenix, I'm just not sure when.
4. Steve Nash is as good as any player to test and see how far along and healthy Tony Parker really is now that he's making his return. We've seen some great matchups between these players, but who would you give the edge to in this case?
Steve Nash hands down. At 36 he's in the best shape of his life and has played at an MVP level again this year. About the only thing Parker has on Nash is Eva Longoria. Plus, Parker will have to work harder against Goran Dragic than he ever has against any Nash backup before. It's not even a contest, Nash by a mile.
5. What will the Suns have to do to stop Manu from going off like he has since Parker has been out?
To be honest, nothing. If Manu is going to get his, it's about containing the other guys on the floor for the Suns. As usual this team isn't lacking in offensive fire power so seeing one player score 25+ isn't anything new. Containing Duncan, Blair and the rest of the Spurs bigs is more important than worrying about Manu. The only thing I wish the Suns could cover on Manu is that bald spot, it's just distracting.
6. Who wins tonight and why?
After all the trash talk and banter earlier in this post, I'm going to say the Spurs. Not because I think that they are a superior team and not because they're playing better right now. No, I'm picking the Spurs for two reasons. One, I've been conditioned to believe anytime the Suns face the "evil empire" that inevitably something will go wrong for them. And two, because I'm terrible at picking games and usually whoever I pick loses. So Spurs with the win (let the reverse jinx happen).
7. Oh, just one more thing:
According to Johnny Ludden and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Manu Ginobili may be getting his extension after all.
Manu Ginobili and the San Antonio Spurs are close to reaching agreement on a three-year extension that would keep the guard from entering this summer’s heralded free-agent market, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
There are still a couple of significant issues to be resolved within the next 24 to 48 hours, but the two sides have established the framework of the extension – which could be a worth a total of up to $40 million over the three years – and think the deal could be completed by the end of the week. Ginobili’s agent, Herb Rudoy, is expected to meet with Spurs officials after the team returns from Phoenix Thursday morning.
With the way Manu has played of late, it's about time the Spurs front office realized that it was in their best interests to retain Manu and keep him from a few teams with deep pockets this summer.
In 17 games since March 6, he is averaging 24.4 points. He's also scored 30 or more points in five of those games, including a 43-point outing against the Orlando Magic.
Ginobili is reportedly earning $10.7 million this season. With this extension, it's clear Spurs' owner Peter Holt is willing to bite the bullet again, even if it means paying another $10 million towards the luxury tax.
Manu has willingly put this team on his shoulders and kept them afloat with Tony Parker out and Tim Duncan seemingly struggling every couple of games. And a well-earned extension is exactly the kind of thanks he deserves.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Warriors coach Don Nelson came close to coaching the Spurs.
"When I was in Golden State and I was having all the (Chris) Webber problems and Gregg Popovich was the GM in San Antonio and wanted to make a change. He called me up and said, 'Can you get out of your contract and come here and be my coach?'
"It was a great idea, because the way we were looking at it, one of us (Webber or Nelson) had to go and if I leave they can keep Webber and get a good coach and everything would be great. So I begged Fitz (Jim Fitzgerald had since bought the Warriors) to let me out of my contract, but he refused, so he and I got into a big argument.
"But he was going to sell the team and I had to be part of the sale because I guess (new owner) Chris Cohan wanted me in place. I've often thought, if Pop would have been the GM and I would have been the coach, that would have been a happy, happy time for me.
After seeing Pop lead this team to four championships, I can't even imagine Nelson as coach of the Spurs.
Before Pop was named Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Spurs, he spent two years on Nelson's bench in Golden State.
I do wonder though if the Spurs would still be four-time NBA champions if Nelson was able to get out of his contract. Would we have ever seen Pop become one of the NBA's greatest coaches?
Feel free to add your opinions and thoughts in the comments.
Sure the Phoenix Suns may be ahead of the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference playoff standings, but Spurs fans know who reigns supreme when it comes down to facing the Suns in the playoffs.
Time after time, the Suns made roster changes to compete with the Spurs. Bringing in Shaquille O'Neal, adding Raja Bell, even hiring Steve Kerr. All in attempts to beat the Spurs in the playoffs. In the end, every move proved futile.
With the San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns meeting today, let's take a stroll back in time and relive a few of the countless times the Spurs smacked the Suns back down to Earth whether it be in the regular season or in the playoffs.
Without further adieu, here are some of the best Suns all time fails against the Spurs.
Suns fail #1: Dunk fail!
With a chance to tie the game with 41 seconds left in the game against the Spurs, former NBA dunk champion, Jason Richardson, blows the dunk.
Suns fails #2: Leaving the bench fail!
With the Suns beating the Spurs in Game 4 of the 2007 playoffs in the waning moments of the game, former Spur, Robert Horry, hip-checked Steve Nash into the scorers table. OK maybe it was unnecessary but Amar'e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw stupidly came charging off the Suns bench resulting in their suspensions for the next game in Phoenix. Spurs went on to win the next game and the series.
Suns fail #3: Christmas fail!
It was Christmas 2008 and the Spurs and Suns were having another "down to the wire" game. With the Spurs losing by two points, 88-90, Tony Parker drove into the lane and was not going anywhere with the shot seeing how Shaq was in the paint.
However, Jason Richardson then leaves one of the Spurs' best three-point shooters, Roger Mason, wide open for a three-point shot, Parker makes the pass, and ball game! Spurs smack the Suns again. Thanks again J-Rich!
Suns fail #4: Twice the three-point shots, twice the Suns fail!
Spurs and the Suns met again in the 2008 playoffs opening round. Game one proved to be an instant classic for the NBA. But for the Suns, the game was another heart-breaker against the Spurs.
First, Michael Finely hit a clutch three-point shot to send the game into overtime.
Second, with the Suns up by three points, 104-101, in the first overtime period, Tim Duncan was left wide-open for a three point shot. He spotted up, took the shot and made a three to send the game into double overtime where the Spurs would eventually beat the Suns yet again in the playoffs and the series.
Suns fail #5: 18 point lead choked away fail!
It was January, 2005 and the Suns had an 18 point lead on the Spurs in the fourth quarter. Not a problem for the Spurs. The Spurs made a furious comeback, sent the game into overtime where the Silver and Black emerged victorious. Final score, 128-123, Spurs win. In this game Manu Ginobili scored 48 points.
Just for kicks, and to laugh at the Suns some more, check out Ginobili posterizing the Suns in the same January 2005 game.
Great memories for Spurs fans. Sad ones for Suns fans.
By now, all Spurs fans know the contract situation with Manu Ginobili.
At the end of this season, he will be a free-agent and a desirable player for any team to add. And with the way he has been playing in the second half of the Spurs regular season, his value is only increasing thus making it more difficult for the franchise to offer him anything less than what he is making now.
Coupled with the fact the Spurs financial situation is not looking good after this season, things will get interesting when dealing with Ginobili's future in San Antonio.
That being said, in a recent interview with canchallena.com, Manu says he will still listen to offers from other NBA teams when he becomes a free-agent but right now is not the right time to discuss his contract situation with the playoffs fast approaching:
"A no ser que me soprendan con una gran cifra... Igual, no creo que éste sea un buen momento para hablar de dinero porque se viene la parte más importante de la temporada, los playoffs"
La situación parece clara. Hasta julio difícilmente haya novedades. "Sé que no voy a quedarme sin trabajo. Y no estoy actuando con rencor. Esto es un negocio y tengo que hacer lo que más me convenga. Cuando llegue el momento, me reuniré con mi esposa y pondremos todo sobre la mesa para tomar una decisión", afirmó Manu.
In the article Ginobili does say he is not playing to prove anything. Just playing to win.
También señaló: "No estoy jugando para demostrar nada, siempre juego para ganar"
As Spurs fans we all can do is just sit and wait and hope the Spurs make the right decision and resign Ginobili.
Just when the point guard spot was starting to look shakey for the Spurs after George Hill suffered an ankle injury against the Lakers, comes this good news:
Spurs guard Tony Parker has been cleared to resume full basketball activities and will be in uniform tonight when the Spurs take on the Sacramento Kings.
With six games remaining in the regular season, including tonight's game against the Kings, hopefully Parker can get back into game shape heading into the playoffs and duplicate his stellar playoff performance last season against the Dallas Mavericks.
|SPURS||Tim Duncan 18.1||Tim Duncan 10.2||Manu Ginobili 4.9|
|KINGS||Tyreke Evans 20.0||Jason Thompson 8.3||Tyreke Evans 5.8|