2004 Olympic gold medalist Manu Ginobili announced Monday that he’s retiring after more than two decades of professional basketball. Ginobili, a four-time Olympian for Argentina, guided his home country to the gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games and a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
His decision ends an amazing 16-season run with the Spurs. Ginobili is a four-time NBA champion and one of the most decorated international players in NBA history.
Argentina’s win at the 2004 Olympic Games is one of only four times that the U.S. men have not claimed the gold medal in men’s basketball and came after the U.S. clinched three-straight Olympic gold medals.
Ginobili was the flag bearer for Argentina at the 2008 Olympic Games. After taking medals in 2004 and 2008, the Argentines and Ginobili just missed out on a third-straight medal in 2012, coming in fourth. Ginobili represented Argentina at his fourth Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio where the team finished in eighth place.
In the NBA, Ginobili played for the San Antonio Spurs since the 2002-03 season, helping his team to four NBA titles (2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014). Along with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, he was a member of the Spurs’ “Big Three” and was twice an NBA All-Star (2005, 2011).
Players, fans and teams reacted to Ginobili’s announcement today on social media, using the hashtag #GraciasManu.
You can relive Ginobili guiding Argentina to a surprise win in the 2004 Olympic final here:
Ginobili guides Argentina to basketball gold
Ginobili guides Argentina to basketball goldManu Ginobili is the standout player as Argentina defeat the all-conquering United States team on their way to winning gold at Athens 2004.
And watch how Argentina shocked USA in the semi-final: