Eurosteppin' To Springfield: A Ginobili Story

Eurosteppin' To Springfield: A Ginobili Story
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Manu Ginobili changed the game of basketball with just a couple of herky-jerky steps. Many have contributed to the sport in various ways, but only a handful can say they patented a move that had an entire generation of hoopers ditch their daily routines, spending countless hours working to master.

 

Like Tim Hardaway’s killer crossover, God Shammgod’s signature “ShammGod,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook, and a handful of others, Ginobili’s Eurostep wasn’t just for show. It had a purpose. Just ask legendary head coach Phil Jackson, who once complained about the move when referencing the league’s rule change on traveling, calling it a “two-step walk” and exclaiming that a European style influencing the NBA allowed “guys pick it up and run a couple of steps with the ball.”

 
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Despite the Eurostep’s detractors, it threw opponents off balance, forcing them to either look dumbfounded while Ginobili gracefully slipped past them or hack and send the Spurs’ bald-spotted wonder to the charity stripe. Dwyane Wade copied it, once using it to nail a running game-winner against Chicago in 2009 and as a celebration. James Harden mastered it, employing the move to lead the Rockets to their best record in franchise history and win the MVP in 2017-18. When it’s all said and done, only Ginobili, one of the best players in Spurs history and an unselfish star who sacrificed being in the starting lineup to carve out a career as arguably the most electric sixth man in NBA history, can claim it.

 
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Debating on Ginobili’s legitimacy as a Hall of Famer? Here are the facts: four NBA titles, two All-Star appearances, Olympic gold medal with his native Argentina in 2004. He was the leading scorer on an Argentine team that captured the first ever victory over a USA basketball team with a roster featuring NBA players, something that was done in 2002. Euroleague title, in which he won the Finals’ MVP. Two Italian League MVPs. Case Closed: Hello, Springfield.