Manu Ginobili's column: I mustn't make decisions in the heat of the moment

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The following is my translation of the latest column by Manu Ginobili at La Nación:

As a matter of fact, everything was really weird. I felt like they were paying homage to me and I didn't know what to do, because I hadn't announced anything and I didn't decide anything yet. Anytime somebody came at me and said "It's been a pleasure to play against you" or "an honor to play with you" I ran out of words. It's clear that I'm very close to retirement and it's a possibility, but I didn't arrive at the game expecting to feel that kind of emotion. I thought that the fact of not having said anything about that topic was protecting me from that kind of situation. It was a mixture of emotions. I think that if I had made up my mind about that, without any doubt it would've been a devastating blow, because it would have bursted into tears right there. But since it was another kind of situation, I didn't know how to react at what had happened at the stadium.

It's been some very strange moments. Even when I went to the bench after Pop took me out. I laughed a lot with Patty. He waited one or two minutes, I don't know exactly, and he said something like "Why are they applauding so much? Don't they know you'll be playing three more years?". I looked at him and made that kind of gesture like I didn't know what was going on. That's because I made some jokes about being in the middle of a negotiation for a contract for three more seasons, then he dared to make a jest about it. It was all really funny.

Even Pop joined us in that moment. When people were screaming, he looked at me and told me to get back in. I think I had already taken off my sneakers... I just looked at him. It had been a very good joke, because I was destroyed, I had already covered up my fatigue and my pains. Once he sent me to the bench, I was done. Pop had told me that I was going to play a lot, and that I had to prepare myself for that. I knew that I was going to play more minutes than usual.

I know there's a great interest from everybody to know something that I am not so sure about. I think there has been a lot of talking about me, and it wasn't like that last year, because it was Tim who was in that spot. So, whatever might happen to me was going to be regarded as secondary. Anyway, none of us had said anything up to that moment and it could have been me who was going to retire, both of us, or even none of us. I feel that whatever I might have decided last year wasn't that important. It's also real that last year I felt more on the side of keep playing, I hadn't made up my mind on that becasue I felt like I had to wait for some weeks before saying anything. And now I feel the same: I must avoid making decisions in the heat of the moment, and wait a bit for the all the emotions and frustations to leave. We will see what is going to happen now, but if everyone was ready to say goodbye to me, starting with Pop, the people, my teammates, even my rivals, maybe they know something I don't.

It's also real that, when thinking about the determination I might take, there are some things that are beyond me to decide whether I will continue or not. There are things to measure with my family, although I am aware the it's not something we will debate with Many (Oroño, his wife) every single day. I am sure we will talk about it in the future. Last year she told me she would stand by me whatever my decision might be, and I suppose she won't be far away from that line this year, that's not something that will surprise me. But all in all, it's a subject we haven't talked about a lot, because it wasn't the right time to do it. At some point during the season, when you feel low, you think "it's about to be over", when you feel higher, you say "why not?". Now we'll take some family holidays, we'll travel a lot, I will clear my head, and, once we return, I suppose I will start to orientate myself towards some decision.

I feel there's more pressure from my environment than what I really say. If it depended on me, I wouldn't talk about this anymore because it's three years that it looks like I'm about to retire, but truth is I have never retired. Time goes by and I'm not getting any younger, so it seems like there are people that is assuming that the moment I'll never play anymore is getting closer. It looks like I'm flirting with all this thing about retiring, but truth is that I talk about it because I'm being asked. If it weren't like that, I wouldn't talk about it.

What I think it should be clear is that it's a very personal decision, it's not about "you can still contribute" or "you still have it". I think that I could still go on, because, if it comes to that, I might be playing 5 minutes per game. What really matters is a mental aspect, to see if I really want to endure one more whole season, to start another preseason... It's about so many things.

And truth is that after losing to Golden I went home and rested peacefully. It's the easiest kind of series to lose. I didn't feel any kind of remorse, we gave them everything we had. It wasn't enough because they are better than us. We would have loved it if the conditions had been different. But when it happens like that I don't feel so bitter.

I'm pretty sure J.R and Jesus Gomez will make a more accurate translation soon enough. But for the moment, I hope this one is good enough for you to enjoy it.


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