Originally Posted by Bring Oberto!
As I said before, I never saw anyone talking like this about many of the other players on the team when Manu was the one putting up big numbers and carrying the team in MANY senses and many of the others (including coaching and managerial decisions) were going against the team's success, just a couple of years from now, AFTER our last championship.
Yeah, that's bull. I stopped coming to this board specifically because I was sick of seeing Parker on the receiving end of talk exactly like this. Manu's always been the golden boy around here. You have to be blind to think that Manu hasn't taken a major step back and is still worth $14 million/year. Manu's no longer one of our three best players.
And you know what? That's alright. Manu's 35 bloody years old. He's years removed from his prime and he's still contributing significantly years past when most players hang 'em up. He had an incredible prime, too -- I maintain he deserved the Finals MVP in 2005, and without him we wouldn't have those last two championships. It's downright disrespectful to the strength of his career as a whole to belittle how amazing he was at his peak by suggesting that he hasn't taken several significant steps back. That's like suggesting Wizards-era Jordan was just as good as Bulls-era Jordan: it's an insult to Jordan's Bulls career to suggest that he was just as good as a Wizard. It's an insult to Ginobili's peak effectiveness to suggest that he hasn't taken an enormous step downward.
He's 35 damn years old. Know how many other 35+ year old players are averaging double figures this year? 8: Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Vince Carter, Steve Nash, Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton. Seven likely first-ballot Hall of Famers. What Manu is doing is still amazing, but don't patronize him or belittle his career accomplishments by suggesting he hasn't taken an enormous step down from his prime.