Sixers' Redick says Manu Ginobili is still tough to defend

FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2017, file photo, San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili, right, passes the ball around Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving during an NBA basketball game in Cleveland. Ginobili is returning for his 16th season with the Spurs. The Spurs re-signed the 40-year-old Argentine guard Thursday, Aug. 24. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Despite being considered "old" by NBA standards (40), is San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili still a tough cover?

You bet according to Sixers guard JJ Redick. recently asked a number of active and recently retired players who they dreaded guarding, and for Philadelphia's Redick, he mentioned "Grandpa Juice" himself.

“I think Kawhi Leonard is really tough. Manu Ginobili still, to a degree, but Manu Ginobili circa 2009 to 2012 was such a monster. There were a few years where the Spurs were Manu’s team. He’d play like 28 minutes a night, but he’d average about 20 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds. I mean, he was a monster.”

JJ went on to speaks volumes about Manu even comparing Houston's James Harden to Manu.

“He was essentially [James] Harden before Harden. Harden is now the modern version of Ginobili. Manu was tough.”

Indeed and didn't Manu popularize the now heavily-used "Eurostep" that Harden heavily incorporates into his game?

Though not the same Manu in years past but last regular-season he averaged 7.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.19 steals in 18.7 minutes. He shot .390 from the field, and .392 from three-point range and .804 from the free throw line. He scored in double figures 22 times and led the team in steals 19 times and in assists nine times.

Not too bad for someone off the bench and shows he can still be somewhat of a handful for defenders.

Though his career is dwindling down, this past season he has shown that he still has that fire to compete at a high level, which is why he is back in silver and black for another year, putting off thoughts of retirement.

Twitter: @MichaelRehome

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