All right, after my 2200-word post about the Spurs, I feel a need to write more about them. This one will be about my favorite player in the NBA, Manu Ginobili.
Tim Duncan may be the player I respect most on the team (and the league), and it feels like Tony Parker is my really talented kid brother or something (even though he’s older than me), but Manu…he’s the guy I look up to the most. I want him to succeed so badly because he wants to succeed more than anything else. Everything he does on the court is driven by a pure desire to win…for his team to win. I’d even say his drive is on par with the one and only Michael Jordan.
He has the drive, but he hasn’t been blessed with the genes. He doesn’t have the 6’8″ 274(!) lb frame of Lebron. He doesn’t have the 50-foot vertical of Vince Carter.
You know what? My friends over at PtR (they’re not really my friends) wrote an awesome post about this guy a few months ago, after the Spurs were eliminated by the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. It was inspiring. It brought tears to my eyes. And I’ll quote from it right now:
6. Anyone who blames Manu or thinks less of him is a stupid fucktard.
Seriously, go root for another team. He’s done enough already. I don’t care whether he makes another shot. He’s got lifetime immunity. You hear me? LIFETIME IMMUNITY. I won’t ever be upset with him unless he molests my sister, and even then I’d ask her if she was wearing a teasing outfit at the time.
My sister is surprisingly attractive considering she’s related to me.
Where was I?
Oh right. Manu.
Look, Manu isn’t Jordan. He’s not Kobe. He’s not LeBron. Rooting for guys like that is unimaginative and frankly, boring. They won the genetic lottery. They’re bigger, stronger, faster. Wheee. Root for them and you might as well root for McDonalds and Nike (shockingly companies those guys endorse or have endorsed). You might as well cheer for Team USA in the Olympics against Team Argentina. I have no use at all for people like that.
Manu isn’t your favorite player because he’s perfect.
He’s your favorite because he’s not.
He’s Rocky. He gets knocked down. He loses. He fails. He occasionally does really stupid shit in really important games.
But he cares. You can see every second he really fucking cares. Even in the regular season when 99% of people affiliated with the NBA, including the fans, don’t care, he does.
And every time he gets knocked down, he gets back up. He tries again. He redeems himself. Manu has done more with less than just about any NBA star I can think of. Every season his athleticism diminishes from the year prior and every season he thinks up new ways to kick ass regardless….
…Ginobili has always been a winner and has always proven the doubters wrong. The day will come when he can no longer do this and he will retire. And we’ll still have our game tapes, Youtube, and our memories.
That, my friends, is why Emanuel Ginobili is my favorite player in the world. He has no business being this good. But he is.
Song of the Day:
And after some MAJOR speed bumps early on, the Spurs are looking pretty damn good right now.