Chauncey Billups once revealed just how dominant and unstoppable Manu Ginobili was during the 2005 NBA Finals.
Between 1999 and 2007, the San Antonio Spurs managed to win 4 championships (winning a 5th title in 2014) and were one of the most dominating and winningest teams during the 2000s. And while he might not have been the best or even the second-best player on the squad, Manu Ginobili was a huge reason behind SAS’s success in those years.
With a career average of 13.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assists, the Argentinian started off his career in the sixth man role, winning the 2008 Sixth Man of the Year honors. The southpaw, later, fixed his spot on the starting line-up alongside Tony Parker and Duncan, who then managed to terrorize the league for the next few years.
Yes, he may not be a big name when discussing the league’s history, however, Manu Ginobili has his legacy cemented by being a Hall-Of-Famer with 2 All-Star appearances, 2 All-NBA selections, and 4 titles under his belt.
Some of the best performances of his 16-year career came during the 2005 NBA Finals against the Detroit Pistons.
“I lost a lot of sleep because of Manu Ginobili”: Chauncey Billups
Back in the 2005 playoffs, the Argentinians had a stellar postseason run. The 6-foot-6 guard averaged a staggering 20.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. However, it was in the finals series against the Detroit Pistons where Manu outshone everyone.
Against a solid defense-oriented Detroit team, Ginobili went on to average 18.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4 assists per game.
— FreeDawkins.com (@DawkinsMTA) November 23, 2020
“’05 NBA Finals. Pistons-Spurs. I lost a lot of sleep because of Manu Ginobili. To me I thought he was excellent in the series. I thought he probably deserved to get MVP. He was just dominant, he really was. And we prided ourselves trying to stop people and agitate people. We couldn’t do it with Manu. He was just that great of a player.”
Sure, Manu was a force to reckon with in those 7 games, however, Duncan was just on another level. Playing 40.7 minutes per game, The Big Fundamental put up an unbeaten 20.6 points, 14.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.1 blocks for the series.