Tim Duncan retelling the story about Pop telling him they drafted "Emanuel Jinnobili" is absolutely hilarious
All you need to know about the San Antonio Spurs' success over the last 20 years in the NBA was on full display on Thursday night at Manu Ginobili's jersey retirement ceremony. Many of the most important members from that tight-knit group of champions were all in attendance: Tim Duncan, Bruce Bowen, Tony Parker (who beat the Spurs on Tuesday night as a member of the Hornets, then hopped on the Spurs team plane to be at Manu's ceremony). Hell, Fabricio Oberto was there! (googles Fabricio Oberto) It's the ultimate sign of respect for Manu that these guys would all be there to honor his career and say a few things about the Argentinian legend. No wonder these guys won multiple titles together.
The best moment of the night was provided by Duncan, who retold a hilarious story about the night Manu was drafted by San Antonio. Duncan says he never watched the NBA draft, instead finding out who they picked from Popovich over the phone. Back in 1999, Pop phoned the Big Fundamental to tell them who they selected with the 57th pick in the second round, and Pop might as well have been speaking a foreign language:
And if you thought Duncan was making a joke, he wasn't. Here's how the Ginobili picked was announced on draft night:
Yeah, I think that was a good pick at that point in the draft too. Has to be nice to grab a future two-time All Star and four-time NBA champion with the 57th pick in the draft, don't ya think? Especially considering that was their only pick that year. Two years later they would take Tony Parker with the 28th overall pick, forming a core that won a ton of games over the next 15-plus years.
Ginobili is the ninth Spur to have his jersey number retired, joining the likes of Bruce Bowen, Tim Duncan, Sean Elliott, George Gervin, Johnny Moore, David Robinson, James Silas and Avery Johnson. Have to imagine Parker will make that an even 10 within the next few years.