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Manu deserves a 'Thank You' not goodbye

SBG San Antonio

I've known Manu Ginobili for almost 16 years, and nothing he says or does surprises me...until today.

Manu told us why he's coming back. Coach Pop wanted him, he still feels good, and his friendship with Patty Mills. But then there was this.

"It's clear that I'm not the basketball nut I used to be. Pop says that my competitiveness is intact, but the truth is that I don't feel as competitive as before," Manu said. "Not just physically, but also a change of priorities. Although once the ball is in the air, I don't want to lose and I try to do it right."

Manu is the most competitive player I've ever seen, and yes, that includes Jordan, Kobe and Chris Paul.

And you know what will get his juices flowing?

The fact that some Spurs fans were hoping he would retire. It's true.

My guess is 80 percent or more were glad to see him come back, but the 20 percent was loud on social media.

We saw the tweets about the Spurs needing to get younger and more athletic, but the truth is, and that that may be true, but why not have your cake and eat it too.

For one, Manu makes the Spurs better. Who makes the clutch block to beat the Rockets. Who takes the young guys under their wing, and come playoff time, who do you trust?

This guy.

Not to mention the history.

They don't win Game 7 in 2005 if Manu doesn't take over, plus he killed a bat with his bare hands, and he's one of the all time best personalities in franchise history.

In fact, the 3 greatest Spurs without question in order are Tim, Dave and Ice, but if you asked San Antonians, who means the most to you. Who's your favorite of all time?

I think Manu goes close to the top.

The guy left everything out there. Knees and hips, and elbows and noses.

Say goodbye to that? No thanks.

If we've learned anything from Tim's departure is that when somebody like that leaves, they are not replaced. And as good as Kawhi and the new group will be, they will never be Manu.

If anybody has earned the right to go out on his own terms it's Manu. And for those of you calling him old on Twitter and telling him it's time to go...what you should be saying is Thank You.

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