Manu Ginobili wouldn't say for sure whether he will be back in the NBA next season. (El Nuevo Herald/Getty Images)
Spurs guard Manu Ginobili was hesitant to say definitively whether he will play beyond this season once his contract is up. In an interview with NBATV's Rachel Nichols, Ginobili said "I don't know...the chances are, like, yes, I will keep playing and probably with the Spurs" but he added that he wants to get through the NBA Finals first and then think about possibly retiring when he spends time with his family in July.
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Ginobili, who turns 36 next month, signed a three-year, $38.9 million contract in April 2010, which pays him $14.1 million this season before he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1. He is coming off one of his worst seasons stastitically, averaging 11.8 points, his lowest since his rookie year in 2002-03 and is shooting 42.5 percent, his lowest since his sophomore season in the league. He's also playing only 23 minutes per game, his lowest average since his rookie season and missed more than 20 games this season due to injuries related to a strained hamstring, calf and back. With swingmen Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green on the rise, Ginobili's minutes coud continue to decline should he decide to come back.
Despite being at the tail-end of one of his least impressive seasons, Ginobili seemed to be much more confident in May about his plans for next year, when he told the San Antonio Express-News "I’m not planning on retiring," than he is now only a few weeks later.
In his interview with Nichols, Ginobili said there's no bigger stage than where he and the Spurs are at right now, hours before tipoff of the NBA Finals, and said he'd rather not get into a conversation about his future with the NBA until after the season ends.
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Footage of his comments about possibly retiring are below at the 1:01 mark: