Sometimes in the NBA, you never really know how close a player was to plying his trade somewhere else.
There have been stories down the years of Kobe Bryant wanting to leave the Lakers and even Carmelo Anthony seeking a trade from the New York Knicks. Exactly how close were they to hitting the exit? It's hard to exactly say.
But that's not the case with Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs. The Argentinian has been with the Texas franchise for the entirety of his 14-year NBA career, but he told Michael Lee of the Vertical just how close he was to donning the Philadelphia 76ers jersey next season.
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"It was not my main option. I never wanted to leave San Antonio," Ginobili said. "But I had to listen to all the options that are there."
The Sixers have a coach in Brett Brown who Ginobili knew well after Brown's work on the coaching staff with the Spurs. That provided a great pull for the silky shooting guard, but the Spurs will always have his heart after winning for titles in San Antonio.
"The fact that Philadelphia had a great coach and a person I appreciate so much as Brett Brown, made it more appealing in the case the Spurs didn't happen," Ginobili told The Vertical. "But the Spurs happened and they always had the priority."
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said it was inconceivable to lose a pillar of the organisation like Ginobili in the wake of Tim Duncan's retirement.
"Losing Tim made it absolutely imperative that we keep him," Popovich told The Vertical. "To lose them both at the same time, it would've been like death by a thousand cuts. It would've been awful."
It seems as long as the Spurs want to keep Ginobili, he will stay.