Tim Griffin of Spurs Nation wrote this piece about Manu Ginobili as being one of the NBA’s most underrated shooting guards.
Manu Ginobili has earned three NBA championship rings, an Olympic gold medal and likely is headed to the Basketball Hall of Fame after his career ends as one of the greatest players in history.
Despite all that acclaim, Ginobili still might be one of the more underrated players in NBA history.
Playing in the shadow of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker will do that. But the wise observers at ESPN.com’s 5-on-5 roundtable aren’t discounting Ginobili.
Chris Palmer ranks Ginobili as the league’s fourth-best shooting guard, ranking only behind Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Monta Ellis.
Here’s what he had to say about Ginobili in his summation:
“Ginobili plays the game with the sort of reckless enthusiasm you don’t expect a 34-year-old (his birthday is July 28) to possess. With great shot selection (only once has he shot below 43 percent) and feel for the game, he opens up the floor and fits in perfectly between Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.
”But The Manu Show really begins when he goes to the hole, where he breaks out a host of tricky ball fakes and indulges in his love for contact. Ginobili has the unique ability to contort his body in the lane to avoid defenders and get off unorthodox shots. His handy Euro step frustrates opponents by allowing him to sidestep defenders in the lane who otherwise had established good position.
“Ginobili is one of the more fluid ball handlers at the position, allowing Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to lean on him as a playmaker. Ginobili is second among shooting guards in assists but actually has more of a facilitator’s mentality than Ellis. Ginobili’s routine headlong trips to the floor for loose balls serve to inspire his teammates and have helped define San Antonio’s toughness for nearly a decade.”
Two of the bloggers from the ESPN.com True Hoop Network tabbed Ginobili as their most underrated shooting guards in the league.
Here’s what they had to say about Ginobili:
Tyler Harford: “Easy: Manu Ginobili. He has a few rings on his fingers and still possesses the explosion to the hoop he’s always had, but Manu is still left off many people’s basketball radar.”
Ryan DeGama, Celtics Hub: “Manu Ginobili. It’s not that we don’t appreciate him, it’s that we don’t appreciate him enough. He’s still a dangerous scorer from all over the floor, his defense remains a plus, and he played a career-best 80 games at age 33. Plus, he’s one the league’s best ugly-game players.”
Even with his status as an iconic figure in San Antonio, the rest of the country has never really appreciated what Ginobili has brought to the franchise.
Griffin was right, Ginobili’s accomplishment is under-appreciated his statistical numbers are not eye-popping, but his style of play and passion for the game of basketball has helped San Antonio win three NBA titles.
Manu is among the league’s most underrated shooting guards, but do you agree that he is only fourth in the league behind Bryant, Wade and Ellis?