SAN ANTONIO—Sunday marked the final home game of this season for the San Antonio Spurs. The series shifts back to Miami for Game 6 on Tuesday night, and the winner will be decided on South Beach.
That also means that Spurs fans may have had their last chance to cheer for Manu Ginobili in the black and silver. Ginobili will turn 36 in July and is a free agent at the end of this season. He has struggled mightily in these playoffs and entered Game 5 averaging 7.5 points and shooting 34 percent in the series.
Ginobili hasn’t looked like the dynamic playmaker he’s been for most of his career, leading some, including himself, to wonder if he has another season left in him.
“Everything is a day-by-day basis,” Ginobili said. “Once the season finishes and I see how I feel, I can’t imagine me not playing at least one more year here, but time will tell. We’ll see.”
He’s played his entire career in San Antonio, a stay that was extended when he signed a three-year, $39 million extension three years ago. He’s struggled with hamstring injuries this season, but said he feels fine physically right now.
At the end of a long season, Ginobili admits to being tired and wondering how much more basketball he has left in him. Then he thinks about what the game, and San Antonio, has meant to him, and has trouble picturing himself walking away.
“Sometimes I do think about retirement,” he told reporters Saturday. “But then I say, ‘No, no. I love what I do. I’m very lucky to be in a franchise like this. So I really can’t picture myself being retired already.’
“There’s a small chance. It’s not that I’m really considering, but I can never say ‘no’ for sure, because I sometimes consider it.”
KINGS ANNOUNCE GM HIRE
The Sacramento Kings will introduce Pete D’Alessandro as their new general manager Monday. The team formally announced the hiring of the former Denver executive Sunday.
New owner Vivek Ranadive had already hired Mike Malone as the team’s new coach and was looking for a front office leader to replace Geoff Petrie, who ran basketball operations for the Kings since 1994.
D’Alessandro was executive vice president of basketball operations for the Denver Nuggets.
The Kings went 28-54 last season.
NO RUSH FOR NBPA HEAD
Members of the National Basketball Players Association are in no rush to hire a search firm to help select a new executive director.
The focus is on getting more players involved in union activities, said Jerry Stackhouse, an 18-year NBA veteran and first vice president of the union.
The union hopes for great attendance from players at its August meeting in Las Vegas.
Billy Hunter, the union head since 1996, was ousted as executive director in February in a unanimous vote by players after an investigation into his business practices at NBPA.