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Rockets: Chris Paul and Mike D’Antoni pay respect to Manu Ginobili

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 11: Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs shakes hands with James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets after the game during Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 11, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 11: Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs shakes hands with James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets after the game during Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 11, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Chris Paul and Mike D’Antoni of the Houston Rockets offer kind words and pay respect to Manu Ginobili after he announced his retirement from the NBA on Monday.

Shams Charania of The Athletic was the first to report that Manu Ginobili decided to call it a career and retire from the NBA. Ginobili played 16 seasons all with the Spurs, a welcome sight in a league where there is little loyalty from players or front offices. Ginobili also played 7 seasons in Italy and his native country Argentina before joining the NBA.

Ginobili averaged 13.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in his career as a Spur. At 41 years old, Ginobili retired as the second oldest player in the NBA behind Vince Carter. Ginobili was a two-time All-Star, won the 2007-08 Sixth Man of the Year Award and helped the Spurs win four championships.

Ginobili and LeBron James are the only players in NBA history to notch at least 800 rebounds, 800 assists and 300 3-pointers in their postseason career. Ginobili and Gregg Popovich won 135 playoff games together, which is the third most wins for a player-coach duo in NBA history, behind his former teammates Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.

The most famous lefty in today’s game, James Harden, definitely took a few cues from Ginobili’s game. They’re both left-handed and they also utilized their craftiness to beat defenders as much as their athleticism. Also, Harden has the most devastating euro-step in today’s league, a move that Ginobili made popular in the NBA.

There’s no doubt in Mike D’Antoni’s mind that Manu Ginobili will be a Hall of Famer, according to Fox 26 Houston’s Mark Berman. 

“He was simply a winner. A sure first ballot Hall of Fame player. Remarkable person and player.”

Chris Paul took to Twitter to show his appreciation for the Spurs great.

https://twitter.com/CP3/status/1034251681137999873

James Harden spent his first three years in Oklahoma City, but he actually joined the Rockets when he was a couple of years younger than what Ginobili was when he made his debut in San Antonio.

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Hopefully, one day down the line we’ll be singing the same praises for Harden when he decides to hang up his sneakers for good after a long, successful tenure in Houston. Congratulations to Manu Ginobili on an amazing 16-year career.

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