Manu Ginobili says he will be back for 15th NBA season
BAHIA BLANCA, Argentina (AP) Manu Ginobili says he is coming back for a 15th season in the NBA.
Ginobili made the announcement on his personal blog Sunday. He turns 39 this month and declared himself a free agent last month after declining a player option for 2016-17 with the San Antonio Spurs.
Ginobili didn't say Sunday if he would be back in San Antonio, though it has been widely presumed that if he continued playing, he would stay with the Spurs. He did say that he would have more news to share soon.
''The most important news to tell you is I am determined to continue playing in the NBA,'' Ginobili wrote in his native Spanish.
He has spent all of his time in the NBA with San Antonio, where it's still unclear if Tim Duncan will return for what would be a 20th season. Ginobili averaged 9.6 points this past season, shooting 39 percent from 3-point range.
He missed 12 games in February and March while recovering from surgery after getting kneed in the groin area.
''I had a great time during the season and except for the `small' February incident was healthy at all times,'' Ginobili wrote. ''I definitely want to continue enjoying the basketball a little more.''
Ginobili is also expected to play in the Rio Olympics for Argentina next month. He has appeared in major international competition with his country for nearly two decades, and was part of Argentina's gold-medal-winning team at the Athens Games in 2004.
Ginobili said the team's training is intensifying as the Olympics approach, and that has meant less time for him with family and friends.
''Hard combination for this little body,'' Ginobili wrote, ''but beneficial for the head.''
Ginobili, Duncan and Tony Parker have combined to play together in 126 playoff wins and 575 regular-season victories for San Antonio - both of which are NBA records for any trio on one team.
In 923 games for the Spurs, Ginobili has averaged 14 points. He was part of San Antonio's title teams in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014.