Tony Parker made some unpopular comments a few months ago about how the Spurs' window had closed. Parker has backed off the comments since then but the conversation left a bad taste in people's mouth, and suddenly, a bunch of trade rumors surfaced about Parker. The Spurs wound up trading guard George Hill, while committing to Parker. But the question remains: Do the Spurs think they're done?
Why don't we ask Manu Ginobili? Well, someone already did.
Project Spurs translated an interview with Ginobili from Argentinian newspaper Ole', and his thoughts were mighty interesting:
"Closed-no, but it is closing. I'm going to be 34, Duncan is 35 and this is not forever. But we won 61 games and in six months...Boston, two years ago, played the final and was a veteran team more than we do today. It depends if you play well, you put it when it counts and not suffer injuries. Fortunately, in our case we do not injure this year."via Ginobili: Spurs window is not closed | June.
Ginobili also said that the Spurs have been called "old" even when they won the title in 2007 and that he feels like he is better than he expected at this age, but will look to transition his game a bit because a physical decline is inevitable and he has to become "better, smarter and more reliable."
So the window's not closed, but it's getting narrow. The Spurs' ability to be honest about themselves is really admirable. It's also really weird. Most teams deny the fall until it's completely over. But Ginobili also has a point about being "old." And he's got a more recent example he could use. The Mavericks were a considerably veteran team, as old as any that won a title for the Spurs. It's definitely true that veteran teams win championships.
But his talk of changing his game is concerning, because it recognizes struggles he's having physically. That said, there isn't a savvier player in the league than Ginobili, and he should continue to be productive through the end of his contract.
The job of rebuilding the Spurs, or reshaping, really, belongs to Gregg Popovich. They have to return to being a defensive-minded, grind-it-out team. Without that identity, they'll get lapped in the race by hungrier teams, just as they were by Memphis.