Translated by Marhq.
MANU ANSWERS TO THE FORUM
How do you feel is your relationship with the Spurs, both front office and coach, after your participation in the Games? It seemed like a national affair at times.
Presently is very good. I've been talking a lot with Pop and it's all decided. There is no problem. We will see how the situation changes or not in the future.
How do you prepare mentally for the suffering of sitting this first months?
I don't know if I am prepared yet! We'll see when we get started. I don't like to watch the games from outside, NOT ONE BIT! I suffer a lot and I feel I can't do anything to change things.
What are the chances you see for the Spurs this year?
The best, as always.
What do you think about this year's reinforcements?
I haven't seen enough yet. Except for Roger Mason who is a known player and has proven himself, the rest are new so is difficult to know. Besides I'm always at the pool or the gym, so I only get to see them a little at the moment.
If the rumor of Prigioni going to Houston had become reality, how do you think he would have made in the NBA?
That's impossible to know. But Pablo is a great player, with lots of experience. He would have needed, as we all did, an adaptation period, but in his position is even harder to know for sure.
Are you planning on doing a basketball clinic in Argentina sometime?
Some time in my life? Yes. I'll do it eventually. I don't know when or where I'm sorry to say.
How is the recovery going?
Everything's fine, getting better in every aspect, little by little, but improving.
Boring isn't it? What is the most entertaining thing you did so far?
Yes, boring, no doubt. Very boring. I don't think there's anything they have me doing these days that I find entertaining.
Do you remember that in Nanjing a chinese girl with a No.20 jersey gave you a hand-written book with a blue and white color which is made by your Chinese Fans Club? If you still keep it,can you tell us what you think of it? We really want to know
Yes, I do remember and I do kept it. I really appreciated it. Thanks a lot for your support!
Do you still keep close touch with Pepe? When you feel down or he feels down, will you two call each other to confide your frustration?
Not that close this last year. We usually spend time together during the boreal summer since we leave really close from each other and we are friends. But because of the Olympics we barely saw each other this time.
Many people criticize you for your presence in Olympics. Have Tim said anything like “I will always on your side” to you? And after your surgery, does Tim show a great concern or does he come to visit you frequently?
It wasn't needed. He's a great guy and he understands me. He did came to visit me, too.
Last time you said you like “Fucsia”. It means pink, purple, or violet red?
Is easier to ask Manu than go to Wikipedia, right? Or any other dictionary? Anyways, it was a joke that Fucsia was my favorite color.
Did you win a slam dunk contest in Italy in 2001? I'm asking you this because that's mentioned in some websites and is something we videologists are losing hours of sleep to. Was it maybe another slam dunk contest?
No, I did not win any slam dunk contest. When I was there they didn't do them and in that year the gave a trophy to the best slam dunk in the all star game. You can see it in the videos the guys made of my plays in Italy, the only one in which I'm with the blue jersey.
I would like to know what would you have studied if basketball didn't work out and your mother forced you to go to the university. I've read somewhere that your mother wanted you to be an accountant or something like that, what would you have chosen?
My mother wanted me to get a degree, but she wouldn't have forced me to study. She always wanted one of her sons to became a professional, but none of us gave her that pleasure. I think I would have studied to become an accountant, but I'm not 100% sure.
What did you do with the first money you earned?
It depends on which one you are referring to, but the first money I was earning coaching little kids in Bahiense, went all to the piggy bank because a wanted to buy a computer. It took a couple of years, but I made it!
As a basketball player, nothing special... a T-shirt, a couple of little things and the rest to the bank, I knew it wasn't going to be easy to get paid every month (I ended up being right).
If you had the chance to relive a game, which one would that be and why?
I have 3.
U22 World Cup Semifinal in Melbourne '97.
Euroleague Final '02.
World Cup Final '02.
They were three extremely important games for me and the three were INCREDIBLY lost. Very painful all of them.
I am a chinese fan , it's a pity that i can't go to the stadium to see your games , you'd said that you had a good experience in China , so if possible do you intend to come to China again ? If so ,which places do you want to visit more?
I loved my experience in China during the Olympics, but I’m not planning on going again soon. I’d like to visit Shanghai one day.
Do you keep in touch with the rest of the team or only when you see each other on the court?
Rest of the team? Do you mean the national team guys? Yes, we write each other fairly often although sadly many of the them are VERY lazy.
When you give your image for some ad, apart from the money they offer, do you take into account if you like the product? If you use it? If that brand goes with your personality? or you don't give much thought to that?
Yes, I take into account many things. Which company is it, which product it sells, how they intend to use my image, what is their track record, etc.
Memory game: How long is it since you last...
... mowed your lawn?
Ufff! I used to do it in my parents' house, but I guess It's been 13 or 14 years. 11 or more I'm sure.
... eaten ice cream in a cone?
I do that often. I buy some cones that I like a lot here at the supermarket. With dulce de leche inside and everything.
... taken your car to the mechanic workshop?
A lot also! I think I did it in my first year here and then never again! In Bahia my old man handles these things.
... scored a goal playing soccer?
I don't even remember the last time I played soccer! Enough said. Ah yes! In Italy, with Virtus sometimes we played and I must have scored some goals. We are talking about 2002!
... watched some El Chavo?
This year I didn't have the time to watch it when I went back to Argentina, but last year (2007) I watched some. Don Ramón rocks!
What brand of TV do you have and how big is it? If it's not new and you had to buy one now... which would it be?
I have many and of different brands. Here Samsung and LG. In Argentina Sony and LG. I'm not well informed about it. When I need it I'll look into it in detail I guess.
Do you record TV? Which system do you use?
I have the DVR my cable company provides. Yes, I record some, but I'm not a big fan of TV. In Argentina I don't record.
Blueray all the way or you stick to the DVD?
DVD and whatever they are showing in cable at that moment. There are lots of movie channels and I always find something (right now they are showing Seven, I watched like 50 times).
Do you still use the notebook with the big stain on the screen?
No, she's not being used, the poor thing! The stain spread to 40% of the screen, which makes it unusable unless you use an external monitor. It's a shame. I get attached to my computers.
We all have a favorite song, that tune that you repeat over and over again... Which is yours?
I like lots of songs but it depends on my mood. I like a lot Desconexión Sideral from Bersuit. Bichos de Ciudad from Los Piojos, Prohibido and Una nueva noche fría from Callejeros. Balada del Diablo y la Muerte from La Renga, El Fantasma from Arbol. International: Mr.Jones is one of my all time favorite songs. Shook me all night long and Back in Black from ACDC as well. I don't know! These are the ones that popped in my head now, but you know Bersuit and Callejero I like very much and I listen a lot. I like Los Piojos' last CD from top to bottom. Fito is great, I like Calamaro...
Did you have the chance to read John Hollinger article on ESPN? In short, he says in his season predictions that you'll end up 5th in the West (47-35 record) due in big part to your injury in the first part of the season, given that they won't be able to replace you effectively and that the team is little too much loaded with years. What is your opinion about it? If you want to answer him here...
We've been loaded with years for a long time and we continue to win games and championships. Every year is a new story, we'll see. I'm not expecting to miss so much games as to affect the final outcome of the team, although is hard to know that now.
What do you think of the problem Arthur, Beasley and Mario Chalmers had? (In regards to drugs) And Monta Ellis' problem (injured while practicing sports that are against the rules) and Josh Howard (who admitted to use marihuana and the lack of respect to his country).
All of them are very delicate matters. The first three, that was an ebarrasement, given the circumstances. Rookies participating of the adaptation program mandated by the NBA. The rest I don't know in detail, but it's a shame. The are both good persons but their mistakes were a little irresponsible.
Do you know what is Greg Oden's game based on?
I don know him much. I'm eager to see him. I know that he is very big and athletic, but I didn't see him in action.
Are watching pre-season games?
No, I'm not watching them.
Which was the first car you owned? How much did you pay for it?
In '97 I bought from my dad the Fiat Regatta '92 he had. I don't remember the transaction! Je je. But if I'm not mistaken what we arranged was to put a price on the car when I "took over it" and then when I were to leave to Italy he would sell it and I would pay him the difference. If that ended up being the case is still a matter of debate! Ja ja But that was the idea. I think it was 6.000 pesos, but who can be certain?
What car do you own these days? How much did it cost?
I'd rather not talk about it.
Do you play with the Playstation? Which games? Do you play as yourself in NBA Live?
No, I don't play with the Playstation. I have a Wii i was given as a gift, but I don't use much. I've never played NBA live since I joined the NBA.
Do you remember your worst drunkenness? When and where? How do you ended up?
Jeje What a delicate matter. I think it was celebrating a championship in Italy but, coincidentally enough, I don't remember very well! ;-)
How do you see yourself for this season?
Very "sexy", strong and with more hair than ever! ;-)
Has there been a rookie that has caught your attention or that you like?
I didn't see anyone yet.
Honestly... When do you think you'll be back playing? I read in an article in mysanantonio.com that you are going to ready come December, but you... when de you think you'll be 100% ready?
I don't know, but I expect it to be by the end of November.
Didn't Pop told you that he would rather have you resting for the rest of the season and coming back for the playoffs?
That would be very funny, if he told me that! What am I suppossed to do during the other six months? Now in that case I would need a whole lot of psychologists! No no, don't even say it twice lest he hears it and likes the idea!
Dou you like CQC? (an Arg. TV show)
I´m not a fan, but if I'm at home and I don't have asado with family or friends i watch it.
Do you play video games? What about your Spurs teammates?
NO, video games aren't my thing.
What do you think about Baby Etchecopar? (A useless, moronic, lying piece of shit, right wing nut, pseudo TV and radio host turned stand up comedian)
That's a character. I don't listen to him on the radio, but I've seen him on TV a couple of times and I know he is very funny. I have relatives that listen to him and they love it, but when I'm in Argentina I don't listen much radio.
How long it's been since you last went to the Monumental (one of the soccer stadiums in Buenos Aires)
I'm not sure I've ever been there to watch a game. Enough said! Never, I think.
Did you watch the Mexican movie "La ley de Herodes"? Did you like it?
No, I didn't see it but I looked for reviews and they say it's very good. I'm going to watch it when I start traveling more often. I have many movies waiting.
Most important question: how are you? How is your recovery going? Any updates on when you can be back on the court to practice?
I'm doing very good. Getting better every day. Little bit at time. No idea when I'll be able to practice with the guys, but I still have a couple weeks to go for that at least.
Are you going to make HEB commercials with the Spurs again? Who will replace Brent?
I'll be in the HEB commercials and there's no substitute for Brent. Tim, Bruce and me. We'll miss him. “Mango trees don't do that, Manu”! ;-)
Did Brent also send you a text message with a picture of him and Luis, saying that he has finally found an Argentine teammate that he likes?
How did you know? Yes, it's true. He did it because he misses me!
The Express News reported that the Spurs had a yoga session after practice last week. Did you see your teammates doing it? Have you ever tried yoga before?
We did it twice. We ALL did it. I've done it once before, but I'm not big fan of it.
Answer me please! What does God mean in your life?
I'm not a believer.
That's all I wanted to know!
That was easy! In that way I could answer 200.000 questions.
What do you think is the level of the NCAA league in the United States compared with that of the European leagues (ACB, etc...)?
I have no idea! I watch only a few games and the play is very different from that of the NBA and very different with that of Europe. They are players with very little experience, pretty naive, but with enormous athleticism and intensity. What they gain in one area they lose in another. I would think is a little lower than the ACB, but I'm not sure of what I'm saying.
Prior to getting to the league, what aspect did you work the most on, shooting, jumping, body building?
Training and shooting. The first one didn't give results, the second one did, a little.
Do you have a tennis racket? Which one?
Uhh! I have two rackets, one that I bought and another one that Coria gave me like 1.000 years ago. If I'm not mistaken the one I bought is a Prince, but I didn't even pay attention. Sepo went and picked the first two he could find.
Your favorite stroke and the one that's the hardest for you to do?
The drive is the easiest for me and the backhand without slice is the hardest. But I totally suck. I haven't played more than 10 games in my life. I like it, but sadly I can't play it.
Playing style? Do you play on the baseline or do you go to the net to attack? If you don't use to go to the net I would recommend that yo do it, with your 6-6 no one would be able to get past you! Do you buy tennis clothing to play or do you use any T-shirts and shorts?
I don't have a style yet! Je je. I wasn't able to identify it! And no! I definetly don't buy tennis clothing for playing. The times I did it, it was with a basketball player look, but with sneakers.
Many times you said you weren't interested in video games, but anyway I wonder if you feel something seeing that they make you particularly detailed and you are a star in the games. I think that shows what you mean to the league. In the previous NBA Live Steve Kerr did the color commentary and at some point he would say "Manu used to school me in practice" jaja.
I think that even Pop schooled him in practice! Jeje. He wasn't precisely the best defender in the league! (Just kidding, Steve is GREAT). Yes, I think that shows respect and prefer to "be made good" than bad, that's it.
Tony appeared on the game cover in Europe, did that make him cocky or he doesn't give it much importance?
He made the US cover this year! Europe was last year I think. No, he doesn't get too cocky, he doesn't say anything. We are all used to see him everywhere!
Pop seems to be difficult as a coach, but a great person at the same time. Do you get along with him outside of the Spurs organization?
Yes, I have a very good relationship with him and his family. He is a GREAT guy (yes, with capital letters).
Why do injured players travel with the team during tours or road games? Is it for mental(?) reasons or to work on the recovery given that the trainers travel with the team? Maybe some other reason?
It depends on the injury, but if it's not serious you travel to continue working with the trainers. Many times you don't have games but you have practices so you have to be with the team.
Why do you think the CABB (Arg. basketball association) didn't put out an official DVD like the UAR(Arg. rugby union) and AFA (Arg. soccer association) did, taking advantage of the achievements of their national teams?
I don't have the slightest idea. I didn't know that UAR nor AFA had put out theirs. Go to CABB.com.ar and ask them...
Fabri said in an interview that the relationship he has with you is like that of boyfriends(?). In which stage do you think that relationship is?
The 7 year itch... The honeymoon is over.
Hope you are healing just fine and getting ready to mentally play what you do best. Like I've mentioned before I've been a Rocket fan most of my life and most recently I became a Manu Ginobili fan (dummy me I waited too long) and honestly I hope you can forgive me for not being a Spur fan.
Okay, here is my question....Is there any chance on earth I could possibly get a picture of you & Scola at a Spurs & Rockets game? I know I might be asking for too much, but well, you never know. If your answer is yes, I will wear a shirt with both Rockets and Spurs on it. You won't miss me. Please,please say "yes".
I'll do my best to make it happen and remember. But is not that easy since the locker rooms are on opposite ends of the courts
I'm not sure how to ask this, I would like to test your memory about a certain point of your career that many single out as a turning point. Your father, your brother Leandro and even Pepe talk a lot about an U22 game at the court of 9 de Julio in which you were fenomenal. They point out a dunk. What do you remember (if you do)?
Yes, I remember! I have a close friend that reminds me of it often, because he played for 9 de Julio and defended me in that game, so he is always telling me that I got where I did because of him! The hoops at 9 de Julio were famous because they were the lowest in all of Bahía, that also has to said, eh!
As my birthday approaches (10/20) I went ahead and gave me an auto-gift. I bought two T-shirts from your clothing line. Did you design them? Or was it people at Nike that did it?
I have talks with them and I told them about my tastes, the colors I wanted, what I wear and that kind of things. The were bringing me ideas and I discarded or approved or asked for some change to be made. Teamwork they call it. My favorites are the T-shirts with the silhouettes and the hoodie which I think is great, but I like them all, seriously.