Wayne says I should tell this story of what happened before the game tonight during autograph time, so here goes.
Manu always signs autographs about 45 minutes before game time after he finishes warming up. Tonight I took my copy of the children's book, "Basketball Bats" to have him sign the cover. He started down the right side of the people lined up around the tunnel, signing quickly without looking up unless someone requested a photo. He signed my friend's Spurs calendar, and then missed me.
Several of my good buddies were on the left side of the line and when he started on that side, they said "Manu, you missed JanieAnnie on the other side." He said, Oh, No!" and looked around at me (he knows me from the posts I've been doing on his website for two years). I said, "I'm not sure you have enough sense of humor to sign what I brought!" He smiled and said he'd catch me at the end.
When he finished signing for everyone else, he returned to me and laughed when I handed him the book, saying something about remembering seeing the photo I had posted of it (on his website). He signed it with a little more care - the "Ginobili" scrawl with the "Manu 20" added. Before I thanked him I told him to just go out and "play" tonight, not to think too much, and enjoy the game. He seemed to follow that advice for the most part, playing much less tentatively than he had been since returning from the injury. I expect my coaching credentials to arrive in time for the Sacramento game.
He really spends a lot of time signing for people and patiently poses for photos. It's one small way he shows his appreciation for the fan support. Tonight there was a small group of Argentines seeking his autograph on his Argentine national team jersey. He talked with them briefly, asking where in Argentina they were from. Other times I've seen him interrupt his warm up to go over and visit with fans from Argentina.