Storytelling: Me and Manu
Last summer I was driving around to various outdoor courts, trying desperately to find a game. It was about 8:00 PM, the kids were in bed and I knew I had about an hour of daylight at best. I finally found a bunch of guys, probably in their early 20s, shooting around behind a school. I approached and asked if I could get in a game. They gave me a look of contempt and said "Sure, we'll play one more." It was clear that these particular fellas did not expect much out of me. To be fair, I don't exactly cut an imposing figure. After a few nice passes and left hand finishes, one of the guys called me Manu. All the guys burst out laughing. I loved it.
Me and Manu Ginobili are both skinny, balding, 40 year old lefty's. We don't fit the description of a typical basketball player. Truth be told, Manu Ginobili is younger than me. Manu Ginobili has more hair than me. However Manu once looked like this:
The Argentine Stallion with his unkempt mane. I never had flow like that, I assure you. But we do share a few similarities in our style of play. A little flare here and there, something you wouldn't expect when you first lay eyes upon us. Maybe a ball fake?
Alright Manu, my turn.
No, I'm not actually comparing myself to Manu Ginobili. I'm just saying we have a few things in common, mostly our appearance. We also do not like change. Manu has spent his whole 16 year career with the San Antonio Spurs, and me, well I still act like it's the 90s. We also share an old school point of view on the basketball youth of today. We want them to:
And occasionally we like to remind them to respect their elders like Manu did last week against the young Phoenix Suns. Ginobili needed just 15 minutes off the bench to post 8 points (2-3 from the 3 point line) 2 rebounds and 2 assists. He also had a steal for a dunk and 3 loud blocks.
Not too much, just a little reminder. A statement of sorts. With his play, Manu was speaking for people like me. Perhaps Mike Gundy put it best: