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Translating everything Manu said in Spanish at his retirement ceremony.
Manu Ginobili’s Jersey Retirement Ceremony was a heartfelt, touching tribute to him from the Spurs, but humble as always he spent his entire speaking time thanking everyone else who made this dream possible for him. When directly addressing his family and friends from Argentina, many of whom were in attendance, he spoke in Spanish. Below is a translation of everything he said:
To friends and family from Argentina
“Most of you might believe you didn’t have a big influence in my career, since I spent most of my career away from home. But despite being so far away, I always knew about the sacrifices you made to watch my games, how you went to bed at three, four in the morning despite knowing that at seven the alarm clock would go off and you had to go to work. I knew about how you yelled and hurled insults at the TV, I knew about your celebrations, jumping on your couches. All of that got back to me and pushed me to give a little more. So, thank you to those of you who are here — which are a lot — and the ones who are back home.“
To Argentina National Team teammates
“What a joy it was to play with you! What a pleasure! To know that on every court we played we were going to be a group, tight as a fist; that we had each other’s backs everywhere we went; that we were going to celebrate together if we won — and we would have a great time — but if we lost, we were going to have an even better time, because we’d have priceless conversations with each other, and they would only make our friendship and our group stronger. So for all those times, for all those friendships and those experiences, thank you!”
To Mom and Dad
“Where are they? They must be out there somewhere. Actually, I think it’s better that I can’t look them in the eyes. Thank you, for providing us all we needed, for allowing us to pursue our dreams, giving us the freedom to choose out path, even though, Mom, I know you weren’t happy with it at first. You wanted your kids to be doctors, lawyers, accountants or whatever, but you always gave us the freedom to make our choices. Dad, despite being a gigantic fan of basketball — I hope you are hearing this somewhere — you never meddled when it came to my teammates, my coaches, my clubs, with anyone. But I always felt that you were next to me, right there next to me, supporting me. So thank you, because that’s worth more than any advice.”
To the kids
“You three — yeah, you three. I don’t know if you actually understand what’s going on. You, Dante, are more asleep than awake. The truth is I don’t know if you’ll understand this. All I want you to know is that I’m not sad. I’m actually very happy. This is a very special thing, what is going on today, and if at times I cry a little, it’s from happiness. And know that all we do with Mom is for your well-being. I tell you that every day and I’ll keep telling you that until you are 28, 29 years old. I love you more than anything in the world.”
To Many (his wife)
“And now? To you — this event would have to last three hours for me to be able to thank you enough. But I’ll just pick a couple of things. Thank you for putting up with my obsessions for the past 20 something years. ‘My nap has to be at this time.’
‘There has to be complete silence.’
‘The food has to be this.’
‘Today I can’t go out because I’m tired and tomorrow I’m playing, but I also played yesterday.’
“Thank you for putting up with all that and for helping make all of this easier so I could only focus on playing. And thanks for supporting me through all those summers, which should have been our family time on a beach somewhere, while I went and played with the guys in London, Japan, China, Mar del Plata — wherever. And you were just proud that I was doing what I loved and hanging out with them. Thank you so much, because I know I stole a lot of time from you. Thank you for your companionship, for your friendship, for your unconditional love. Thanks for making me who I am and thanks for putting your needs aside to make me and your kids your priority. I will be in your debt forever, but I guess I have 40 or 50 years left to try to make it up to you. And I will do my best to actually do it.”
Source: Pounding The Rock