Manu Ginobili ponders retirement

SAN ANTONIO -- There are a lot of things San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili doesn't have a great answer for these days. His tepid play in the NBA Finals is one of them.

His future with the Spurs, and in basketball, is another.

"I really don't know," Ginobili said Saturday afternoon, when asked whether this could be his final season.

"All season long I kind of knew that I was going to play one or two more years. But when you are 36 [years old] -- I'm going to be 36 pretty soon -- everything is a day-by-day basis. Once the season finishes and I see how I feel, I can't imagine me not playing at least one more year here, but time will tell. We'll see."

Ginobili is in the final season of a three-year, $39 million contract. He will turn 36 at the end of July, and the accumulation of injuries he's dealt with this season has taken its toll.

"For three quarters of the season it was the physical part," Ginobili said. "I'd say, 'No, I can't deal with this anymore. I'm tired of rehab and trying to be in shape all the time.'

"But at this point I'm fine physically, so you are a little more optimistic. But you know, it's been 18 years doing this. You kind of get tired and you want to enjoy a little more time at home sometimes. You go back to Argentina to see your people, and you think about it. I'm going to have time for that too."

It's as hard to picture him as anything other than a San Antonio Spur as it is to picture the Spurs without Ginobili. If he decides to play another season or two, Ginobili could command more on the open market than in San Antonio, although it would almost certainly be less than the $14 million salary he was paid this season.

San Antonio general manager R.C. Buford said he hopes it doesn't come to that kind of choice.

"We'll address everything after the end of the season," Buford told ESPN's J.A. Adande on Saturday. "But our hope is for Manu to play through his career with the Spurs."

That seems to be Ginobili's hope as well.

"Sometimes I do think about retirement," he said. "But then I say, 'No, no. I love what I do. I'm very lucky to be in a franchise like this. So I really can't picture myself being retired already.'

"Threre's a small chance. It's not that I'm really considering, but I can never say 'no' for sure, because I sometimes consider it."