Manu's full Interview with Radio LU2 translation

Well not the full interview actually. I left out the parts that were not basketball and Spurs related. The audio starts with Manu talking about his realtionship with the Spurs.


Manu - They’ve always treated me well here, I feel at home and I‘ve experienced a lot of things here, so San Antonio is going to be my priority. But at the same time I don’t know what might come up three months from now. The best thing for me to do is wait, and when everything is on the table, sit down with my wife and decide what’s best for us.

Question – How do you see the team? I ask considering how high the expectations were with the off-season acquisitions and because of all the problems the team’s has had: Injuries to you and Parker, etc.?


M - It’s really been a tough season. We haven’t played like everybody expected us to play. We lacked consistency-we’re still lacking consistency- and I don’t thing anyone in particular is to blame. Not the new guys for not fitting in nor the old guys. I think that everyone of us-from the guys with the bigger roles to those with the smaller roles- we’ve all produced less than expected and we haven’t played well.


I feel like we’re still have a chance. Obviously the margin of error is smaller now since the time window is getting smaller. And Tony’s injury last weak hurts a lot right now. We were on a four game winning streak and it looked like we were slowly improving, so to lose a starter and one of our best players really hurts.


Q - Specially losing him because of a fracture. I read somewhere that he’s is going to miss the rest of the regular season. Is that right?


M - That's right. And on top of everything it's his shooting hand. When you come back from that you always have to be careful, play with some sort of protection on it. It’s a tough situation, so the rest of us will have to step up and produce more than usual because we will come up short otherwise.


Q - Knowing him like you do from playing with him for so long, how do you see Duncan? I don’t see him being as dominant as he once was.


M - Maybe he is not as dominant as he was five years ago, but that’s normal. He’s 33. But when you look at the stats his 20-10 is still there. His percentages are the same-he’s actually better from the free throw line. And he is still an exemplary silent leader, one that you can be proud to have on your team, so under any circumstances we can say that we’re seventh because he’s not playing well. What was expected of him before the start of the season- that 20-10- is what he's delivering.


Do you feel like the Spurs have changed the style of play?  Do you think you play more like an NBA team instead of a FIBA team?


M - Maybe, at the beginning of the season. We are now trying to go back to our old style: team work, passing the ball and making better decisions. We are trying to get back to our roots and see if we can turn things around.


Q - What has Popovich been telling you? Does he still want you to take care of your body for the playoffs by not going to the hoop as much or is he giving you more freedom to do your thing within the structure of the team?


M - We are at a point now where we have to win anyway we can. There is no margin for speculation. I am even starting now, which means 5 or so more minutes per game. We are going all in. We are seventh right now and if we don’t play well from now and win the games we are supposed to win we are at risk of not making the playoffs, so it’s not a time to be saving our energy.


Q - Ok. Well your twins are coming, playoffs are coming, you have to decide wether to stay in San Antonio or go elsewhere, but also coming is the World Championship in Turkey...


M - It is. And I won’t lie to you: the closer it gets the more desire I have to play. And I don’t like the idea of missing it. But as I said a million times, there are a lot of factors that come into play: first of all, the twins, who will be a couple months old and it won’t be easy to leave them behind. Also, I won’t have a contract then and my body is not the same as it was before. What happened to me in terms of injuries in the last couple of seasons has taken it’s toll on me.

 On the other hand is my desire to play and the fact that it is a World Championship. So whatever decision I end up making, it’s going to be a difficult one.


Q - And even if you don’t go to Turkey , that doesn’t mean you’ll be retiring from the National Team, right? Are you considering playing in the London Olympics?


M - Definitely. Like I said after the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, the Games are very special and the most important thing an athlete can experience, so wether I play in Turkey or not, I don’t consider myself retired from the National Team.


Q - Also there’s the chance that the Olympic qualifiers could be held in Argentina. Would that make it more likely for you to join the team?


M - Yes, that would be great. Especially considering that there’s likely going to be a lockout in the NBA in 2011 due to the CBA negotiations which would delay the beginning of the season, providing a bigger time window for me to recover physically. But to tell you the truth I don’t know what I’m going to do two months from now, so it is impossible for me to try and predict what I’m going to do a year and two months from now. It’s too early,  but what I can tell you is that regardless if I play in Turkey or not, I am not retired from the National Team yet.



Well that's it. Feel free to correct anything you think is wrong.


Edited: I'm adding the liks to the site where the original interview is published and to CarBahia's original post.


Original interview


CarBahia's post

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