By Graydon Gordian of 48 Minutes of Hell
Wednesday morning the Argentinean newspaper Clarin published an interview with Manu Ginobili that caught San Antonio Spurs fans by surprise.
“I no longer expect a contract extension,” said Ginobili. “At this point in the season, I don’t know if I would accept an extension, it would depend on the offer. But I have made my mind to sit down on the first of July with my agent, my wife and evaluate what offers I have.”
Ginobili’s remark sent shock waves throughout the San Antonio community. To call Manu a fan favorite would be an understatement. His Latin heritage and frenetic style of play have endeared him to Spurs supporters since the day he first donned the silver and black.
But the public hysteria caused by the thought that this could be Manu’s last season with the Spurs (talk radio lines, they say, were packed with livid callers) may have been mainly miscommunication.
Before Wednesday night's game Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News caught up with Manu and asked him about the interview.
“Just because I don't expect the Spurs to extend my contract before it expires does not mean my days as a Spur are over," he said. “In Argentina the term extension, as it is here, doesn't exist. The fact is, they can re-sign me before the deal is over. They took 'extend' to mean even after it is over, instead of re-sign. So they are two different terms.”
For Spurs fans, who have a difficult time stomaching the idea of Manu wearing another jersey, his clarification offers little consolation. Although the statements he made to the Express-News are more tempered than those to Clarin, Ginobili's future in San Antonio hardly sounds certain.