Former San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard was interviewed on Saturday and asked about whom between Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili is more likely to embark on a coaching career. Interestingly, Leonard chose the Argentine shooting guard.
The current Los Angeles Clippers star explained that Ginobili is his answer because the retired four-time NBA champion is now involved with the Spurs organization as a special adviser to basketball operations.
Ginobili had become known for his tremendous basketball IQ during his playing days. In the earlier phases of his playing career, he used his athleticism to impact the game.
However, once his agility was derailed by injuries and tons of mileage, he needed to rely more on his intelligence and experience than his athleticism. Even so, the 6-foot-6 guard was able to help San Antonio win a couple more championships.
Incidentally, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich once said that Manu doesn't want to be a coach. In fact, the legendary mentor even said that his former ward might be overqualified to dive into coaching.
As such, Ginobili might be more suited for a front office or player development role.
Why not Duncan?
As for Duncan, Kawhi might be right because the all-time great has stepped away from the sport after a brief stint as an assistant coach for the Spurs.
That tenure had the "Big Fundamental" filling in as head coach after Popovich missed a regular season game in the 2019-20 campaign for personal reasons. Duncan's head coaching debut was a success as San Antonio won. However, that was the first and only time he sat in the big boy chair on the sidelines.
The Spurs legend resigned from the position in the 2020 offseason and has not held a coaching position since then. Fans shouldn't expect a return, according to Popovich.
If Leonard's and Pop's words are to be believed, it seems like Ginobili is indeed more likely to coach.