The head vs. the heart: Who is the greatest Spur?


SAN ANTONIO - It's a question pretty easy to answer. Who is the greatest Spur of all-time?

It's not even close -- it's Tim Duncan. It's quantifiable -- hard data. It's in the numbers. It's science. It's what your intellect tells you is true.

But the heart may say something different.

What Manu Ginobili has done and is doing is something special on another level. There he was again at 40 years old, writhing in pain.

Fans chanting his name, and then leading his team to a win with clutch moments in the fourth quarter. It was goose bump worthy.

It's why we love Ginobili. It's why Argentinians are literally making a pilgrimage to see him one more time to thank him.

Ginobili's greatest moment wasn't anything he did with the Spurs. It was winning gold in basketball in Athens in 04 -- Argentina's Miracle on Ice.

No country has ever won gold against the USA when they send their top professional. Nobody did it before and no one has done it since and probably not ever again.

There is something in Ginobili he can't control -- that fire, that desire, that something he actually isn't sure is a good thing.

"It's been there the whole time," Ginobili said. "It's a sickness, I think. For moments I was too competitive and I struggled to face losses. Now I grew out of that and matured. I don't know if I want my children to be that competitive."

Manu has never thought about saving himself for his next contract. He played a playoff series with a broken arm, with a broken nose. He's given everything to this organization including something too delicate for TV.

"I gave my right one for the Spurs," Ginobili said. "I can really say that."

This season was anything to laugh about. He was disappointed in Kawhi's absence and heartbroken for the coach he loves. And yet somehow he convinced his team that while they may not win the war, they were not going to lose the battle.

Not this one, not in his house. They had overcome too much.

So, yes, Tim Duncan is the greatest Spur of all-time. It's not even close. It's in the data, the numbers, the logic. It's what the head calculates as empirical truth/

But Manu makes your heart ask a question in which the answer defies logic. If the guy gave us everything he possibly could, how can anything be greater than that?

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