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Tim Duncan Shared A Hilarious Story About How He Initially Reacted When The Spurs Drafted Manu Ginobili: "'Emanuel Jinnobili! Who Did We Just Pick?'"

Tim Duncan Shared A Hilarious Story About How He Initially Reacted When The Spurs Drafted Manu Ginobili: "'Emanuel Jinnobili! Who Did We Just Pick?'"

The stature of international players in the NBA has grown immensely in the recent past. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic have won the last 4 MVPs between them, and Joel Embiid has been the biggest threat to Jokic. Luka Doncic was in the Western Conference Finals this season and has made 3 consecutive All-NBA First Teams during his first 4 seasons in the league. 

But it wasn't always the same; there was a time when international players weren't taken too seriously. Legends like Manu Ginobili, Peja Stojakovic, and Tony Parker helped pave the way for today's stars. Ginobili, in particular, was credited with bringing the Eurostep as we know it to the NBA. 

The skilled maestro won 4 championships alongside the legendary Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, all an integral part of the Big 3 that saw the San Antonio Spurs be one of the top teams in basketball for well over a decade under Gregg Popovich. But very few would have believed that would happen when the Spurs drafted Ginobili with the 57th pick in the 2nd Round; it even had Tim Duncan feeling confused, a funny story he shared at Ginobili's jersey retirement ceremony. 

"I got that call from Pop. Every year I watch the draft, I sit at home, and I tell people, ‘I’m not watching the draft, I’m not going to do this.’ I sit at home, I watch the draft, and we pick people that I’ve never heard of. Sitting there, ‘Emanuel Jinnobili!’ ‘Who did we just pick?’ ‘Oh yeah, he’s gonna be great, he’s gonna this’, ‘Okay yeah, Pop. Whatever.’”

Ginobili went on to become a 4-time NBA champion and was selected to 2 All-Star teams as well. His skill and ability made him an incredible wildcard on the floor for the Spurs, and he was one of the hardest players to guard during his time in the league. As for Duncan, it's an even funnier story when you realize that TD himself wasn't quite memorable in his younger days either!