September 25, 2018 / 4:00 PM / 24 days ago

Popovich hoping to pull Ginobili onto Spurs' staff

Gregg Popovich believes he knows what is next for Manu Ginobili.

2016 Rio Olympics - Basketball - Quarterfinal - Men's Quarterfinal USA v Argentina - Carioca Arena 1 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 17/8/2016. Manu Ginobili (ARG) of Argentina sits after leaving the game near the end of play. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Ginobili, who retired from the NBA after winning four championships with the San Antonio Spurs, joined Popovich at his annual coaching retreat. Popovich said, even during Ginobili’s playing career, that his future was in coaching or pro personnel.

Ginobili remains in the San Antonio area and said during his retirement ceremony that he planned to stay close to the organization.

“My kids have already started school, and while I’m in town, I’ll be close to the team and the franchise,” he said. “I can’t help anymore by taking a charge or with a steal, but I’ll try to contribute somehow. I appreciate all my teammates, the staff and all the people in the team. I want the best for the Spurs. If I can help, I will do it with pleasure.”

Ginobili, 41, was a passive observer at the start of the retreat, Popovich said. But predictably he didn’t remain silent.

“He was a great addition,” Popovich said, “because he was smart enough to listen in the beginning. It’s like a new job in a way. You listen and you figure out the lay of the land and he did that. ... He started to open up. By the second, third, fourth day, he was right in the middle of arguing about everything.”

Popovich said he left Ginobili with an open invitation to attend training camp as a member of the coaching staff.

“I’m expecting him to come back when he runs out of money,” Popovich said. “When he can’t pay for that boat anymore, he’s going to want to come back.”

—Field Level Media

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