SAN ANTONIO – One of the most beloved players in San Antonio Spurs history is calling it a career.
Manu Ginobili, 41, plans to retire after 16 seasons with the team, which included four NBA championships, he announced Monday on Twitter.
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
Ginobili was selected by the Spurs with the No. 57 pick in the 1999 NBA draft.
He came to San Antonio ahead of the 2002-03 season, and made an immediate impact on the team and city.
His flair and propensity to make unpredictable, game winning plays and no fear attitude, made him a fan favorite.
Ginobili played with a reckless abandon that endeared him to the city and fan base.
He played through various injuries, through pain and through criticism that he should have retired years ago.
Ginobili will ultimately go down as one of the greatest Spurs in history.
He connected with the fan base in a different way, in part due to his Latin roots and the fact he wore his emotions on his sleeve.
The four-time NBA champion retires as the Spurs all-time leader in three-pointers made (1,495) and steals (1,392), while ranking third in games played (1,057), fourth in assists (4,001), fourth in free throws made (3,380) and fifth in points (14,043).
Ginobili was named to the All-NBA Third Team in 2008 and 2011, and was a two-time All-Star in 2005 and 2011.
He won the 2008 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award and is one of just seven players in NBA history to spend his entire career with one team while playing at least 16 seasons.
Ginobli's retirement puts an end to the Spurs' "Big Three" era, after Tony Parker departed this offseason to the Charlotte Hornets in free agency.
Ginobili, Parker and franchise icon Tim Duncan are the winningest trio in NBA history.
Ginobili goes out on his own terms after a solid final season where he remained relatively healthy and was a main contributor to another Spurs playoff team.
In his final home playoff game as a Spur, Ginobili came off the bench to score 16 points and help lead the team to victory, walking out of the AT&T Center as the winner he was always been known to be.
We'll have more on Ginobili's retirement on air and online.