How ironic: one of the NBA’s worst floppers wasn’t given credit for his superhuman performance because he didn’t quite flaunt it. In the midst of a Western cinderella rudely exposing the Spurs in the first round, we all missed something. Manu was hurt, bad enough that he actually had to sit out Game 1 of the series. He went on to average over 20 points a game the rest of the way, but never really gave us that dose of championship shot-making we are used to seeing from him (besides of course one insane shot at the end of Game 5).
Maybe that’s because his problem wasn’t just an elbow sprain (which is bad enough). As Spurs Nation is reporting, Manu’s injury was worse.
Ginobili told the Argentine website Noticiasmdq.com that he sustained a small fracture of the right humerus, the long bone in the arm that runs from the shoulder to the elbow. The injury occurred in the final game of the regular season on April 13 when he was trapped in a collision between Tim Duncan and Phoenix’s Grant Hill.
So now we know why Gregg Popovich got so defensive when people wanted to dismiss Manu’s injury and shower praise on Rajon Rondo for his comeback from a hyperextended elbow. Ginobili had a fracture, and came back hard enough to still drop buckets. That’s heart. We should’ve saved some of that over-the-top praise to give to Ginobili.
The Spurs’ swingman said that an MRI last week showed the liquid around the fracture is absorbed and that it is welded at 85 percent. He should make a full recovery.
All of this makes Manu’s first-round performance even more impressive. There are NBA fans everywhere who truly dislike the guy. But you must respect him. For example, during that overtime Spurs win in Game 5 against Memphis, I was convinced Ginobili would do something. Even when San Antonio looked dead, I could feel something would happen. With Manu, you always get that.
If the Spurs had been able to win the series, this probably would’ve gone down as one of the more unbelievable performances in recent history.
The moral of this story? The next time you get hurt, make sure people know about it. I guess.
What do you think?
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