05/16/2021 12:26 AM
Updated 05/16/2021 12:58 AM
Millions of Argentines have followed what was done by Facundo Campazzo, Gabriel Deck and await the arrivals of Luca Vildoza and Leandro Bolmaro to the NBA.
However, they still miss Manu Ginobili's glorious times at the San Antonio Spurs.
And it is logical: the Bahiense
made history of the great one.
For this he counted, in the already iconic Gregg Popovich teams, with two allies on the court who became friends outside of it: Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.
The first of them entered this Saturday, among others and together with Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant (whose wife gave an emotional speech), to the
Hall of Fame.
And in his words when accepting admission to this select group that brings together the best of all time, the Virgin Islands-born, who, true to his shyness, claimed to be living the moment of "greatest nervousness" of his life, he
asked for Manu.
"I can't wait to see you up here and I don't have to be here talking", words from Tim Duncan to @manuginobili and @tonyparker 🥰 pic.twitter.com/mgXYXj1j6d
- NBA Latam (@NBALatam) May 16, 2021
Bryant, Duncan and Garnett were joined by three-time NCAA champion coach
two-time NBA champion coach
four-time Olympic gold medalist
three-time Final Four coach
, who won 1,000 games;
as well as FIBA Secretary General
Bryant, Garnett, Duncan and Catchings add
58 selections to the All-Star Game
Mulkey, Tomjanovich, Sutton and Stevens have
more than 3,000
Baumann, an admired manager, is widely recognized for his efforts in adding 3x3 basketball to the Olympic program.
Tim Duncan's jersey was the last retired by the San Antonio Spurs before Manu Ginobili's turn.
Photo AP Photo / Eric Gay
wasn't the only one who was admitted posthumously
Sutton and Baumann accompany him.
gave a recorded message on his father's behalf;
did the same for their father.
At the time of taking the stage,
more than acceptable speaker
, even friendly and funny beyond the ever present shyness.
"Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker.
I can't wait to see you up here.
And not me," Duncan said with a laugh before giving them a more serious recognition: "
It was an honor to share a court with you.
Thank you for your friendship, thank you for this brotherhood and for all the shared experiences ".
Just as it happened with the withdrawal of Manu's shirt in San Antonio, which was taken for granted from the day the Argentine announced his retirement, it will also
matter of time
before he becomes the first Albiceleste representative to be entered into the Hall. of the Fame of the best league in the world.
Away from professionalism since 2018, the Bahiense can only be elected
four seasons must pass
since retirement and from the fifth one can include someone on the list of candidates.
With the dreadlocks look that has been with him for a long time and that contrasts with the almost shaved hair that he wore for much of his career (which also contributes to the relaxed image that he currently offers), Duncan also
dedicated a special paragraph to Popovich
, the father of the Spurs creature, the maker of a team that became one of the greats in NBA history.
Tim Duncan with the man with whom he formed the duo known as "The Twin Towers" of San Antonio: "Admiral" David Robinson.
"Coach Pop ... He's going to get mad," said the former power forward, who had just begun to talk about the coach, his
began to choke
began to accumulate
in his eyes.
"After choosing me in the draft, he came to my island. He sat with my friends, my family ... He spoke with my dad. I thought that was normal. But it is not.
You are an exceptional person
", said the former player with a broken voice.
"Thank you for teaching me about basketball, but even beyond that, for teaching me that not everything is basketball. For teaching me that this is about what happens in the world, in the family ...
Thank you for everything
Tim Duncan thanks Gregg Popovich for what he meant both on and off the court 😍 # 20HoopClass pic.twitter.com/xiij09h6Kw
- NBA Latam (@NBALatam) May 16, 2021
The old Spurs coach even
missed the penultimate game
of his team, which has already secured a place in the play-in (the previous round to determine if it enters the playoffs) against the Phoenix Suns (loss 103-140), to attend the ceremony held in Uncasville, Connecticut.