Manu Ginobli to Reportedly be Inducted into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

It’s a Hall of a moment for Manu Ginobli

The 44-year-old Argentine former professional basketball player is among those reportedly set to be inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2022.

Manu Ginobili

Over a 23-year professional career, the former San Antonio Spurs star became one of only two players to have won a EuroLeague title, an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal.

Ginobili was a four-time NBA champion, two-time NBA All-Star and former NBA Sixth Man of the Year during his 16-season career with the Spurs.

He joins a roster of reported inductees that includes WNBA icon Swin Cash, NBA star Tim Hardaway, former longtime NBA head coach George Karl and West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins.

A formal announcement of the 16-member 2022 class is expected on Saturday, but The Athletic first reported news on the five inductees Thursday.

The 2022 class is slated to be enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on September 10.

IMDb TV Orders Shea Serrano’s Coming-of-Age Comedy “Primo” to Series

It’s a primo opportunity for Shea Serrano

The 40-year-old Mexican American author/writer, journalist and former teacher’s coming-of-age comedy Primo with Mike Schur has been ordered to series at IMDb TV.

Shea Serrano

It’s the first greenlit project from a tranche of developments, including projects from All American showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll and CSI: New York star Melina Kanakaredes, that the Amazon-owned AVOD service unveiled at its NewFronts in May.

Primo (w/t) will air on IMDb TV in the U.S. and UK.

Based on the life of Basketball (and Other Things) author Serrano, the series follows a Mexican-American teenager balancing cultural norms, college aspirations, societal expectations and the hectic home life of being raised by his single mom and five uncles.

Serrano will write and executive-produce the single-camera comedy with Schur, The Good Place EP Morgan Sackett and David MinerPrimo is a Fremulon and 3 Arts production in association with Universal Television.

“Do you remember when the (San Antonio) Spurs won the 2014 title after having their hearts broken in the 2013 (NBA) Finals? That’s what I feel like right now. I couldn’t be happier, I couldn’t be prouder, I couldn’t be more thankful. Honestly, I still kind of can’t even believe that this is happening,” said Serrano.

“When I first met Shea Serrano, I personally guaranteed him that someday I would make him feel like the 2014 Spurs did after winning the NBA championship. I’m thrilled to have achieved my goal. And I’m doubly thrilled to work with him and IMDb TV on this hilarious and heartwarming show,” added Schur.

“It is a dream to be in business with these two incredible writers. Their individual talents have combined to make an insightful, relevant, and genuinely funny show. More than just making us laugh, these scripts simultaneously reminded us of the angst of adolescence, the dizzying magic of first love, how friends become family, and how family imprints us for life,” said Lauren Anderson and Ryan Pirozzi, co-heads of content and programming at IMDb TV. “IMDb TV’s commitment to telling broad, timely, and highly entertaining stories is perfectly illustrated in Primo, and we know the series will deeply resonate with our viewers.”

“We’re thrilled that our partners at IMDb TV have picked up Primo. This project has been a long time in the making, and we’re incredibly proud to see Shea’s memorable and funny experiences come to life on the small screen,” said Jim Donnelly, EVP, comedy development, Universal Television. “From his best-selling books to this new show, Shea’s storytelling will captivate audiences not unlike power forward Tim Duncan captivated Spurs fans from 1997-2016.”

Devin Booker & Team USA Beat France for Men’s Basketball Gold at Tokyo Games

2020 Tokyo Games

It’s a first taste of Olympic gold for Devin Booker

The 24-year-old half-Mexican American professional basketball player, who plays for the Phoenix Suns, and his Team USA mates held off France 87-82 on Saturday to win the men’s basketball title at the 2020 Tokyo Games — ending a summer that started with sputters but closed with celebration.

Devin Booker

Nothing about the summer was easy for Team USA, including the gold-medal game.

The Americans expected nothing less.

And in the end, their Olympic reign lives on.

Devin Booker

Kevin Durant scored 29 points and joined Carmelo Anthony as the only three-time men’s gold medalists in Olympic history.

“Every championship is special, and the group you’re with is special, but I can be honest and say this is the most responsibility I’ve ever felt,” said U.S. coach Gregg Popovich, who adds this gold to five NBA titles he’s won as coach for the San Antonio Spurs.

Team USA Men's Basketball

“You’re playing for so many people that are watching, and for a country, and other countries involved. The responsibility was awesome. I felt it every day for several years now. I’m feeling pretty light now and looking forward to getting back to the hotel.”

Wine was awaiting, and so was a hero’s welcome from the U.S. women’s team — which plays for gold of its own Sunday — when the men returned to the team hotel. Later Saturday night, after Australia defeated Slovenia for the bronze, Popovich and the team returned to the arena for their gold medals. One player would drape the prize over another’s neck, then they watched the U.S. flag get raised and “The Star-Spangled Banner” blare for them one more time.

“Everybody was questioning us,” U.S. forward Draymond Green. “This is special.”

Durant sealed the win with two free throws with 8.8 seconds left, making the outcome academic. The lead was five, France’s final possession was irrelevant, and it was over. The U.S. players gathered for a hug at midcourt, Durant, Green and Bam Adebayo wrapped themselves in American flags, Popovich had a long hug with his assistants and the journey was complete.

Karamo Brown to Play in This Year’s MLB All-Star Celebrity Softball Game

Karamo Brown is gettin’ in the game…

Major League Baseball has revealed the group of celebrities that’ll participate in the 2021 MLB All-Star Celebrity Softball Game next month, with the 40-year-old half-Cuban American television host, reality television personality, author, actor, and activist making the roster.

Karamo Brown

The game is scheduled to take place on July 11 at Coors Field ahead of the 2021 Midsummer Classic.

In addition to Karamo, who appears on Netflix’s Queer Eye, is part of a roster that includes rapper Quavo and pop star JoJo Siwa, who will play alongside former MLB players like CC Sabathia, Hunter Pence and Rockies legend Larry Walker.

It’s not just baseball players, either. DK Metcalf of the NFL‘s Seattle Seahawks and Derrick White of the NBA‘s San Antonio Spurs will participate.

Here are all of the 2021 MLB All-Star Celebrity Softball Game participants:

  • Quavo (rapper)
  • JoJo Siwa (pop star and dancer)
  • Steve Aoki (Grammy-nominated DJ and producer)
  • Ross Butler (actor)
  • Noah Beck (social media star)
  • Charles Melton (actor)
  • Residente (rapper, writer, filmmaker, and activist)
  • Blake Gray (social media star)
  • The Miz (WWE star)
  • Kane Brown (country music star)
  • Karamo (television host)
  • DK Metcalf (Seattle Seahawks wide receiver)
  • I.D (musician)
  • Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs guard)
  • CC Sabathia (former New York Yankees pitcher)
  • Jennie Finch (former softball pitcher)
  • Hunter Pence (former San Francisco Giants outfielder)
  • Larry Walker (former Colorado Rockies outfielder)
  • Vinny Castilla (former Colorado Rockies third baseman)

On July 11, some of baseball’s top prospects will play in the 2021All-Star Futures Games. Following the prospect showcase, the All-Star Celebrity Softball Game will take place.

The All-Star Celebrity Softball Game will feature former Colorado Rockies star third baseman Vinny Castilla and former reliever LaTroy Hawkins serving as the managers for the teams.

San Antonio Spurs Launch Selena-Inspired Merchandise Collection

Selena’s style is spurringa sporty partnership… 

The San Antonio Spurs have announced a surprise merchandise collection inspired by the late Mexican American Grammy-winning singer and Tejano music legend. 

Selena Quintanilla

Announced over social media, the Selena Capsule Collection comes after the team’s fans weren’t able to celebrate Selena Night with the Spurs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Since we couldn’t celebrate Selena Night together, we’re bringing the merchandise collection to you,” tweeted the five-time NBA champions.

Selena x Spurs

The collection, available available now, features shirts, hats, tumblers and other collectible items.

Selena x San Antonio Spurs

“This collection honors and celebrates the legacy of Selena Quintanilla,” the collection’s website reads. “She has and continues to inspire fans across the country to celebrate culture and connections. Her legacy goes hand in hand with the central pillars of the Spurs experience and we are honored to bring this collection to fans of both the Spurs and Selena.”

The team also announced collectible jerseys that fans can buy that features the number 71, a reference to the Selena’s birth year.

https://twitter.com/spurs/status/1284503681312927744

Click here to shop the full collection.

Pau Gasol Looking to Return to the NBA After an Injury Cut His Last Season Short

Pau Gasol is hopin’ to return to the court…

The 38-year-old Spanish professional basketball player  and free-agent center is looking to return to the NBA after a stress fracture in his left foot cut his 2018-19 season short.

Pau Gasol

“My recovery from surgery has been smooth, and I expect to be fully cleared for basketball activities in August,” Gasol told ESPN‘sAdrian Wojnarowski. “I cannot wait to start training again.”

Gasol, who turns 39 on July 6, joined the Milwaukee Bucks after reaching a buyout agreement with the San Antonio Spurs in March. He played only three games for the Bucks before undergoing surgery to repair a navicular stress fracture in his left foot.

Gasol averaged a career-low 3.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in 30 games this season.

San Antonio Spurs Star Manu Ginobili Retires from the NBA

The time clock has run down for Manu Ginobili

The 41-year-old Argentine professional basketball player, a guard with the San Antonio Spurs since the 2002-2003 NBA season,announced Monday that he’s retiring.

Manu Ginobili

“Today, with a wide range of feelings, I’m announcing my retirement from basketball,” he announced in a tweet. “It’s been a fabulous journey. Way beyond my wildest dreams.”

Ginobili, a future Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer, had been working out regularly at the Spurs’ practice facility as he considered his decision to retire.

The Spurs had been hopeful that Ginobili would want to return for a 17th season and allowed him to take all the time he needed to decide, league sources had told ESPN. The team thanked Ginobili in a tweet and video Monday.

His decision brings a historic 16-season run with the Spurs to an end. He is one of the most decorated international players in basketball history, a four-time NBA champion, a two-time NBA All-Star, an Olympic gold medalist for Argentina and a EuroLeague MVP.

“An NBA champion and All-Star, Manu Ginobili is also a pioneer who helped globalize the NBA,” NBA commissioner Adam Silversaid. “He is one of basketball’s greatest ambassadors who believes in the power of sports to change lives. And for 16 years, we were fortunate to watch a legend compete at the highest level. Thank you, Manu, for a career that inspired millions of people around the world.”

Ginobili played 1,057 regular-season and 218 playoff games with the Spurs, ranking in the franchise’s top five all time in games, points (14,043), assists (4,001) and steals (1,392). He averaged 8.9 points and 20 minutes a game for the Spurs last season.

“A role model for all of us that love this wonderful sport,” Spurs forward Pau Gasol said.

Ginobili’s pro career lasted 23 seasons in all, starting with stints in Italy and Argentina. His drawing power was massive even in his final season, and it was common for him to spend plenty of time before road games posing for photos and signing autographs — often international fans proudly displaying an Argentine flag.

“He has the talent to continue playing for five years, but we have to respect his decision. Us Argentinians, we are so proud of him. We wish all the best in the new life,” said Juan Martin del Potro, who thanked Ginobili after his victory Monday at the US Open.

Ginobili had one year left on his contract, worth $2.5 million.

The smooth left-handed guard from Argentina came to San Antonio in 2002, forming what quickly became a powerful big three alongside Tim Duncanand Tony Parker. Now, they’ve all moved on: Duncan retired two years ago, Parker left San Antonio earlier this summer as a free agent to sign with the Charlotte Hornets, and Ginobili has worn Spurs colors for the last time as well.

“I had left the door open just in case, but now I am convinced and happy about the decision I made,” Ginobili said, as quoted in Argentina newspaper La Nacion.

Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard were the backbone of San Antonio’s drive to its most recent NBA championship in 2014, and this will be the first time Gregg Popovichbegins a season as the Spurs’ head coach with none of those players on the roster. Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptorsfor DeMar DeRozan earlier this summer, the end of a relationship in San Antonio that had apparently gone too sour to save.

Leonard’s departure meant Ginobili would have been the last significant player tied to the Spurs’ title years. But in the end, retirement was his call.

Ginobili, even though he was often coming off the bench, has a résumé of postseason production like almost no one else. Only two players have more than 800 rebounds, 800 assists and 300 3-pointers in their playoff careers — Ginobili and LeBron James.

Ginobili’s final game was April 24, when the Spurs were ousted from the Western Conference playoffs by the eventual champion Golden State Warriors. San Antonio lost the series 4-1.

Gasol Finalizing Two-Year Deal with San Antonio Spurs

Pau Gasol is heading to the Lone Star State

The 35-year-old Spanish basketball star has confirmed reports that he is finalizing a two-year deal ‎with the San Antonio Spurs worth in excess of $30 million, according to ESPN.

Pau Gasol

The deal will feature a player option in the second year, according to ESPN’s sources.

Gasol had emerged as the target of a lucrative free-agency bidding war that had also involved the Portland Trail BlazersMinnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors, sources said.

Gasol, who will turn 36 on Wednesday, spent the past two seasons with the Chicago Bulls and gave the team a solid offensive punch down on the blocks and provided a professional presence in the locker room.

Last year he averaged 16.5 points and 11.0 rebounds for a Bulls team that missed out on the playoffs.

Gasol & the Memphis Grizzlies Agree to Five-Year Max Deal Worth $110 million

Marc Gasol will keep walking (and dribbling) in Memphis…

The 30-year-old Spanish professional basketball player and the Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to a five-year max contract worth an estimated $110 million, according to ESPN sources.

Marc Gasol

The deal includes a player option that would allow Gasol to opt out and become a free agent after the fourth year of the contract, according to sources.

The exact monetary value of the deal, which was agreed to Monday, will be determined by the league’s salary cap.

Gasol, as previously reported by ESPN, shunned the opportunity to let interested teams court him in free agency, signaling to the rest of the league ‎that he essentially was unavailable to everyone except Memphis.

‎Teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers‎, New York Knicks ‎and Milwaukee Bucks — all of whom had designs on making a run at the Spaniard in free agency — abandoned all plans to pitch Gasol before free agency began.

Players and teams can come to verbal agreements on deals, but no contracts can be formally signed until Thursday, when a leaguewide moratorium on roster business is lifted.

Gasol was selected with the 48th overall pick by the Lakers in the 2007 draft. In the 2008 deal that brought his brother Pau Gasol to the Lakers, Marc Gasol’s rights were sent to the Grizzlies.

In seven seasons with Memphis, Gasol has developed into one of the league’s premier big men, winning NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. He was selected as first-team All-NBA last season, second-team All-NBA in 2014, and he has twice been named an All-Star (2012, ’15).

Gasol has averaged double-figure scoring in all seven of his NBA seasons, with a career-high 17.6 points per game last season in 81 games, all starts. He was regarded as the anchor of one of the league’s best defensive teams despite not being an elite rim protector (1.6 blocks per game last season).

Gasol was an integral piece to the Grizzlies’ rise, leading them to 55 wins last season and a first-round playoff victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. The Grizzlies have appeared in five consecutive postseasons and made it to the Western Conference finals in 2013 before bowing out in four games to the San Antonio Spurs.

In 2011, Gasol signed a four-year, $58 million deal with the Grizzlies.

Barbosa Agrees to One-Year, $2.5 Million Deal with the Golden State Warriors

It’ll be another golden season for Leandro Barbosa

The 32-year-old Brazilian professional basketball player and veteran guard has agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract to stay with the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, according to ESPN.com.

Leandro Barbosa

Barbosa has bounced all over the league and played for six different teams in his 12 seasons. He was taken 28th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in 2003, then was traded to the Phoenix Suns, where he played his first seven seasons.

After stops with the Toronto Raptors, Indiana PacersBoston Celtics and Suns again, Barbosa signed a one-year deal with the Warriors in 2014.

The 6-foot-3 combo guard appeared in 66 games (one start) for the 67-win Warriors this past season, primarily backing up league MVP Stephen Curry. Barbosa averaged 7.1 points and 1.5 assists in 14.9 minutes per game.

Barbosa, an unrestricted free agent, made several key contributions in the playoffs, including 13 points in a Game 5 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.

In 2007, Barbosa won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award after averaging 18.1 points per game.

He holds career averages of 11.4 points and 2.3 assists in 22.9 minutes per game.