Manu Ginobili returning to San Antonio Spurs as special adviser

Spurs reflect on Ginobili's iconic career (3:05)

Spurs players reflect on the competitiveness and intelligence of Manu Ginobili and recall some of their favorite moments from his career. (3:05)

Four-time NBA champion Manu Ginobili -- one of the greatest international players in basketball history -- is returning to the San Antonio Spurs as a special adviser to basketball operations, the team announced Friday.

Ginobili, 44, will work in a player-centric role focusing on the on-and-off court development of a young Spurs roster, sources told ESPN.

Since his NBA retirement in 2018 after 16 seasons with San Antonio, the organization has been persistent in trying to convince Ginobili of taking on an organizational role with the franchise.

Ginobili built a reputation as one of the great teammates and leaders in the sport, and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, CEO R.C. Buford and general manager Brian Wright have wanted his influence in advancing the team's culture to the next generation of players and staff.

Ginobili was a two-time All-Star and the 2008 Sixth Man of the Year award winner in his 16-year NBA career with the Spurs. He also had a decorated international basketball career that included winning an Olympic gold medal for Argentina and earning MVP in the EuroLeague.