SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio Spurs great Manu Ginobili proved to be a handful for opposing defenses during his NBA playing days.
However, in his time the game was slower, more physical, and dominated by bigs such as Shaquille O'Neal, teammate Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and others.
Nevertheless, he adapted well and used his quickness, signature Eurostep, and agility to etch his name in NBA history and help the Spurs win four NBA titles.
Now in retirement, he admits he wishes he was playing in today's high-paced NBA style.
To celebrate the league's 75th anniversary, he spoke with the NBA about his time in the league and likes what he sees on the court from today's game.
"If I could choose which era, I'd like to play now," said Ginobili. "Fast paced. A lot of threes. A lot of possessions."
"I would have loved to have played in this time and be 28 (years old) now," he said.
Ginobili was a dynamic player. His ability to weave through defenses and all around toughness made him a deadly offensive player.
But he faced some tough defensive assignments.
When asked to give his best one-on-one players, his list reads of some of the best to ever play the game.
"Well, I would think offensively, there are three guys, four, that are basically unstoppable one-on-one," he said. "Michael Jordan is the first one. Kobe [Bryant], KD [Kevin Durant] and Steph [Stephen Curry]."
How about the players he wishes he can face in his prime?
"I would like to play in my prime when I was fast enough... for example Zach [LaVine], even though I played against him, would be a great player to match up against," he said. "Donovan Mitchell. He's impressive and impressive set of skills."
Ginobili played 16 seasons for the Spurs and retired in 2018. He ranks in the franchise's top five in games, points (14,043), assists (4,001) and steals (1,392).
He now serves as a player development coach with San Antonio.