3. Manu Ginobili
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It still feels strange to call Manu Ginobili a bench player. The Argentinean is always playing during crunch time for the Spurs, and he’s been making huge shots and helping San Antonio win championships for over a decade, but the two-time all-star has started fewer than half of the 801 games he’s appeared in. He was named the Sixth Man of the Year in 2007-08, a year in which he averaged 19.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.5 steals-per-game. Stupid numbers for a bench player.
Ginobili is the perfect example of why being called a “starter” or a “bench player” doesn’t always tell the whole story. After all, the season in which he was named the Sixth Man of the Year, he still played more than 31 minutes-per-game, and has long been a member of San Antonio’s core three alongside Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. At the end of the day, Manu is walking, talking proof that it’s not about who starts the game, it’s about who finishes it. And few players have ever been better at finishing games than the ever clutch Manu Ginobili. Future Hall of Famer as far as I am concerned.