The five legacies of Manu Ginobili

    Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) is a professor and an NBA analyst for ESPN.

By most accounts, Manu Ginobili’s path to the Basketball Hall of Fame is one of the most unlikely in the sport’s history. At pick No. 57, he was the second-to-last player drafted in 1999, and he didn’t make his NBA debut until three seasons later, by which point he was already 25 years old. During his 16-year NBA career — all spent with the small-market San Antonio Spurs — he came off the bench for more than 700 of his 1,057 career games.

Yet Ginobili was an easy choice as a Hall of Famer, so much so that he’s going in on the first ballot. He’s one of the most successful international players in the sport’s entire history. He won a EuroLeague title and four championships in the NBA, and he led Argentina to a legendary gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Still, his lasting impacts go far beyond those bullet points. Ahead of Ginobili’s enshrinement on Saturday, we talked to some of the people who watched his remarkable career unfold to help understand how five separate legacies combine to form one of the single most impressive résumés in recent memory.

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