After My Man Manu Ginobili retired last summer, Pounding the Rock ran my piece entitled “There Was Never Enough Manu to Go Around”, which ended with:
As great as it was to have Manu for 16 seasons, we did not have him long enough. Gracias Manu. Muchas gracias.
Now that a year has gone by, my beautiful wife just asked me a related question:
“Hey, Lee — Don’t you think you have enough Manu Ginobili shirts??”
No, I don’t think so. In fact, I don’t think it is possible to have “enough” Manu shirts.
Of course, I have the shirt every Manu and Spurs fan must have. When I say “must have,” I mean it. While a Spurs fan may not be charged with a felony if he or she does not own and wear Manu’s road #20, it is a misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. (I am an attorney — I know these things.) And to stay on the right side of the law, I wore it to our first Spurs game in San Antonio, on the outside, for all the honest world to see:
Another shirt we all should own and wear (although it is not technically a crime if you don’t) is Breaking T’s “Manu Forever” shirt. And yes, I have and wear this one proudly, and certainly respect the message.
Another classic Manu shirt from Breaking T celebrates a great Manu moment, a moment that became a semi-finalist in Marilyn Dubinski’s recent Best Moments in Spurs Playoff Games poll. I bought this one the day it came out:
But I also have some Manu shirts that many others do not. For instance, uber-skier brother Mark bought me this one while traveling (and skiing) in Argentina. This is Manu’s Argentinian team jersey from quite a while back. Note that Visa sponsors the team — very appropriate since Manu was so good at taking a “charge.” (See what I did there?)
Another time, I asked a person in my office who was traveling to Argentina to keep an eye out for a Manu Ginobili shirt while she was there. I was very surprised by what she located, honoring both Manu’s Euro-Step and the Tango, the national dance of Manu’s homeland:
More recently, and without any warning, my buddy Daniel presented me with Manu’s Italian League jersey. This classic is from the Way-Back Machine, well before Manu joined the Spurs. Instead, he was refining his skills and dominating the Italian League. While playing with Bologna, he won two Italian League MVP awards, the Euro League Finals MVP and the 2001 Euro League championship. Yes, this was one sweet gift:
To conclude, I must confess that my first Manu shirt is not actually a Manu shirt. It reminds me that Manu surely wound up on several non-Spurs shirts which give joy to other teams’ fans but only pain to Spurs fans. This would include shirts celebrating the Vince Carter shot for the Mavs (over Manu) and the Ray Allen Game Six shot (over Manu) for the Heat. And finally, this moment that will live in infamy in San Antonio. (The number on the back is 0.4.) Once again, Manu was the Spur closest to the shooter and you can see his hands straight up in front of the shooter. Rest assured that this is the only one of my “Manu shirts” which I no longer wear: