Jeff McDonald of mysanantonio.com is sounding the alarm. Manu Ginobli could retire at the end of his contract. That’s 2 years. http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/2011/07/14/manu-talks-retirement/
Quick Analysis: First of all, this is lockout news, so take it with a grain of salt. Writers will gladly over-analyze, or take things out of context in order to get a story these days. However, if Manu really is openly discussing retirement, then I say good for him, and even better for the Spurs.
Loyalty to aging stars is a death sentence for a franchise. A long and painful one at. A franchise may suffer through three or four years of slow decline before a star–doing more harm than good–can swallow his pride and hang em up. Did the Wizards really ever have a shot with Jordan? Not even close. Were the Rockets going to get there with Olajuwon, Drexler and Barkley? No. Look at the Lakers when they brought in Malone and Payton. Payton was worthless, and Malone could barely walk come playoffs. It’s the worst thing a team can do to itself: surrender their fate to an aging star. The Suns are the leagues current prime example, they’re refusing to trade Nash while they can still get some value for him, and by doing so have all but condemned themselves to 2 or 3 more years of certain mediocrity. Need more convincing? Look to Shaq.
How did Shaqtus work out in Phoenix? What about Cleveland? The big Shamrock? The Suns, Cavs and Celts were all dumb enough to bring on a broken down Diesel, and all three came away worse for it.
The Spurs now have their two best players on the decline, and if at least one of them doesn’t man up and show himself the door, San Antonio will be a first round bounce for maybe the next five years. Duncan has already professed that he will play until the wheels come off, and we all saw how slow he looked against Memphis. If Duncan’s going to play until he’s as effective as a manikin, then let’s hope Manu calls it a career the second he feels the decline. This retirement discussion is a good start.
Jeff McDonald calls the news “…a bummer to the Spurs faithful.” I say it’s the best thing for them.