Why Manu Ginobili was not chosen among the 75 best players in the history of the NBA

Why Manu Ginobili was not chosen among the 75 best players in the history of the NBA
Why Manu Ginobili was not chosen among the 75 best players in the history of the NBA

The NBA announced late Thursday night the last names that made up the official list of the 75 greatest players of all time. In these parts, the networks were immediately flooded and in fact they even turned some surnames into a trend. The claim, in unison, in the form of criticism and a question: why isn’t Manu Ginobili here?

Perhaps because Manu Ginobili did not deserve to be there.

Among the 75 names, the 50 who had already been selected in 1996, when the league turned half a century, are repeated. This was the first stumbling block: there was only room for 25 new players. Actually, the voting started from scratch here, but isn’t it logical that those cracks would reappear? There was, now, room for more without the need to replace those distinguished of then.

The list of the 75 players chosen as the best in the history of the NBA.

The place that was left may be insufficient. Linearly, there was room for one player per year. In the 2003 draft alone, to cite one example, there were four basketball players with sufficient merit to enter this select group: LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade y Carmelo Anthony.

The mention of that kind of draft is not whimsical. In addition to showing how much talent can enter in a single season and how difficult it is to place Manu among those 25 names, there is that of one of those criticized for having appeared: Melo. His appointment raised questions that also touched Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis, to name a few.

In the case of the former icon of the New York Knicks and today LeBron’s teammate in the Los Angeles Lakers, it seems that he has forgotten that it is about one of the top 10 scorers in league history, one of the most prolific scorers who has known this sport, an offensive hierarchy that can be counted on the fingers of the hands.

Westbrook, meanwhile, made something unprecedented a norm: average a triple-double as Oscar Robertson knew how to do. And he did it not once and not twice, but three times. Numbers from other times today, and that are not only reduced to personal display: against the myth that was created around his figure, his teams win about 7.5 out of every 10 times he reaches triple ten.


Manu, along with Parker (who was also not chosen) and Duncan. AFP photo

It was, as Harden, MVP of a regular phase, a prize that may well be indicative of who has been the best player in the world during the year. Lillard or Davis don’t have those historical records or those individual distinctions, it’s true. None of them have a title. With its four rings, Manu I could put one on each.

The equation, in those cases, is solved in a simple way, remembering (and repeating) the sense of choice: to find the best. Both the Portland guard and the Lakers insider are quietly entering the top 10 today. And they have been like this for several years.

Was Manu ever the best basketball player in the world? Was he ever in the top 10 in the NBA?


Manu Ginobili on the day of retirement of his jersey number 20 that no one will wear at the San Antonio Spurs. Photo REUTERS

The answer to the first question is a truism no. For the second, this review is worth it: twice he participated in the All-Star Game, both as a substitute. He once flirted with the Most Valuable Player award in the finals and deserved it as much or more than Tim Duncan, chosen by 6 votes to 4 for the Bahian. It happened in 2005, the year in which he was also called up to the All-Star Game. It was as close to absolute stardom as he could get.

If the choice were called “the 75 most significant players in history” or “the 75 most decisive” without a doubt Ginobili should be. In this case, we speak purely and exclusively of talent and, to a lesser extent, of entertainment. Ginobili squandered the first, he knew how to have the second, he had achievements that probably no Argentine basketball player will ever have again and, justifiably, is considered by many to be the greatest athlete in history in a country that had Maradona, Messi, Aymar, Sabatini, Fangio, Vilas and so many others.

They were all the best in the world at their thing. Manu, no. That’s why his absence in this ranking is justified. For that also, his legacy is so great.

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