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Today’s guest in NBA Star Trivia is the famous San Antonio Spurs veteran Emanuel “Manu” Ginobili, who said goodbye to the Western Conference Finals this very morning, and stands as one of the only two players who achieved a Triple Crown (combination of at least one Euroleague, NBA and Olympic championship title) in the world basketball history.

Here are the little known facts about the 4-time NBA champion Argentinean superstar:

Full name

Emanuel David ‘Manu’ Ginobili (Emanuel means ‘The God is with us’ in Hebrew)

Date and place of birth

28 July 1977, Bahia Blanca – Argentina


Has two brothers, both played basketball on professional level in Spain. Their father, Jorge, was also a coach in the club in Bahia Blanca, where Manu had learned playing basketball

College career

None! He was drafted in the 1999 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs while he was still playing in Europe, and joined the Spurs in 2002

His idol

Michael Jordan (He used to set the alarm of his clock in order to wake up and watch Jordan’s games; in fact, he taped many of his games and watched again numerous times)

Double passport

He holds both Italian and Argentinean citizenship

Triple Crown

As said above, Ginobili is one of two players in basketball history that won a championship in NBA (2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014 with Spurs) and in Euroleague (2000 with Kinder Bologna) and also achieved a gold medal in the World Olympics (2004 Athens with Argentina). The other player to achieve the same accolade is the legendary Bill Bradley (1964 Tokyo Olympic gold medal with US National Team, 1966 Euroleague with Simenthal Milan and 1970 and 1973 NBA rings with New York Knicks)

Ginobili is also the second Latin American selected to the NBA All-Star game, after the Panama-born Rolando Blackman

Favorite music

He listens all kinds of music but favors Latin music above all

Marriage and children

He had married in 2004. His wife is named Marianela Orono; he has three kids in total, twins and a boy.

Why basketball?

Football is surely the most popular sport in Argentina and among all Argentinean, but in Bahia Blanca where Manu was born, there are many basketball clubs and two large basketball facilities. This was the major factor for him to select basketball over football, together with the impact of his father and older brothers Leandro and Sebastian. Also, his family had migrated from Italy, where basketball was quite popular and played in elite level since forever

Three perfect languages

He can speak in three different languages, Spanish, Italian and English, in almost perfect level


“One” and “Neo”, both of them are inspired from the famous 1999 film “The Matrix”. Gino, the abbreviation of his first name, and Narigon, are also his other popular nicknames

Favorite films

The Sixth Sense, Forrest Gump and SeVen

Favorite sportsman outside basketball

As a football-lover Argentinean, Diego Armando Maradona indeed

Olympic championship

He was the backbone and star of the Argentinean squad that won gold medal in 2004 Athens Olympics over Italy and such historical moments were the first for Argentina after their former Olympic championship in 1952

Historical moments of NBA career

The game where he scored 48 points and set his career record in January 2005, which they had won against Phoenix Suns by 128-123

And his historical block to Amar’e Stoudamire, which was pictured in many wallpapers and posters

Jersey numbers: #6 and #10 in Europe, #5 in National Team and #20 in San Antonio Spurs

He wore #6 and #10 before his NBA career. When he arrived to Spurs, #10 was already given to Speedy Claxton, where #6 had belonged to Avery Johnson, one of the star Spurs players at that time. In fact, Johson had left the team before Manu had joined the squad, but he was so adored by his teammates and the fans that Manu didn’t want to disrupt his memory by taking his jersey number and chose to wear #20 instead, which actually had no special meaning for Manu. #20 was just available to choose at that time and Manu eventually picked and wore it until today

Favorite animal

Dogs; Tibetan Mastiff to be precise

Favorite food

Asado in Argentina, Tortellini in Italy

Favorite sport except basketball


Favorite football time

He is a fan of River Plate

Manu and his identification with his trademark Eurostep move

Eurostep is accomplished by making your first step to a side (i.e. right side of the defender) and immediately changing your body’s direction by stepping to the opposite side (i.e. left side this time) in the middle of dribbling or penetrating to the rim. Dwayne Wade of Miami Heat and James Harden, the king of step-back shots, of Houston Rockets are the remarkable Eurosteppers in the NBA, but the move has its origins back to Sarunas Marciulionis and late great Drazen Petrovic, two of the European pioneers in the NBA in late 80s and early 90s. Ginobili however had specialized in Eurostep throughout his all career and became the name father of this move in today’s NBA by winning multiple championships with this move in the league. His proficiency and expertise of making pass fakes while initiating the move and finishing the move with an uncommon reverse dunk had chiseled this Argentinian superstar as the lexical definition and demonstration of the move in NBA. Dejan Bodiroga of Euroleague was also a flag bearer of a modification of this move, ‘El Latigo’, together with former Croatian player Danko Cvjeticanin; where Shammgod God had introduced this move to the NCAAs back in 1990s

Nickname in his youth


Best hobby

Making puzzles

Favorite snack



(Editor’s note: We deeply respect Manu, who had won the Game 5 of 2017 Western Conference Semifinals against Houston Rockets all by his effort at the age of 40, without hesitating to dunk the ball after Eurosteps among all the defenders and stepping up as a superstar savor. Sadly his team was deprived of the two other corner stones of team offense and defense, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard, throughout the Western Finals series played against Golden State Warriors and lost by 4-0, where Manu had did his best for Spurs. We hope him not to retire now, and will be more than very happy to see him as a Spurs players at least one more year. In any case, he is one of the true international basketball legends with his achievements, impact to the basketball and personal accolades)


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