After seeing the standing ovation at the AT&T Center and the appreciation the world over has given to Manu in the Spurs’ final game of the postseason, one can’t help but think if it was indeed his last game in the NBA, in a sport many has come to love him for. Oh, even Manu himself got emotional and reflective -- who wouldn’t?

And so, let’s go through factors he should consider in making his decision.

INCOME. Without even counting the zeroes in his paycheck, we’re sure Manu has made enough through the years that even if he retires, he’ll be okay. Besides, he was somehow given his due in his most recent one-year deal. Thus, more than money, ‘returning’ would simply be for the love of the game.

FAMILY. Whether Manu plays or not, he’d always be returning home -- where would he sleep anyway? Of course, unless the Spurs got a road game then he’d be in the team’s hotel. And that’s when we could say retiring would definitely give more time for his family. Hmm. Family travel? It will come.

AGE. More than stamina, athleticism is what you’d lose when you age. While stamina could still be maintained to a competitive level with training, it’s not the case with athleticism. You’d lose a step or two when you get older which is why Manu drives much less than before. More so, you’d jump much lower compared to your younger years which is also why Manu doesn’t often dunk anymore. With age comes a decline in strength and this explains why Manu’s shots come up short in many of his misses. All these explain why he attempts so much lesser than when he was in his 20s or early 30s. Manu has accepted that his standards are much lower now, so, age would not be a problem then if he were to return.

HEALTH. Unless Manu has lingering injuries or is coming from a serious injury, then he should still be able to play at a decent level in monitored minutes. Still, if there’s anything Manu has to solidify then it must be psychological, he has to continuously believe. Skills don’t get lost and athleticism could be made up in more ways than one through instinct.

COMPETITION. The game has evolved into a 3-point shooting circus. And since the turn of the decade (not century as the last of the physical players were during the heyday of the Wallaces in Motor City), physicality has become so much lesser which is why today’s stars are having a field day whether it’s inside or at the perimeter. This makes Manu’s current shot adjustments based only on the competition’s athleticism which is why he could still thrive at his age mostly by just connecting on threes or shooting floaters -- after all, a little bump results in a foul, hey, that’s more space to maneuver! Imagine if Jordan’s era had this kinda leeway, many great players of his time could have averaged 30 points a game while MJ would probably average 40 a game!

FANS. Certainly, this is one reason why Manu could return -- the fans, the Spurs’ fans. How could you turn down a city who loves you so much? Otherwise, he could also be pondering on retirement since the ovation was already a wonderful send off.

LEGACY. While Manu’s scoring averages could continue to go down in case he would still play, the guidance he could provide to the next generation of Spurs’ stars would be invaluable. Particularly for Kawhi Leonard and Dejounte Murray. So, lower scoring is understandable, he already had his time; besides, the main reason why he never really averaged in the 20s was obviously because the main option of the Spurs' 'Big 3' was Tim Duncan. Manu’s game legacy was in his flair, and now, it’s in his inspiration.

In the end, with all the contributions he has made to the NBA and basketball, without a doubt, Manu Ginobili would be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.

Say what you?

Published by Consumer Live