Ginobili welcome baby boy during playoff break
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Less than 24 hours after Manu Ginobili helped deliver a Game 1 victory over Dallas in the Western Conference playoffs, he helped deliver something even better.
Ginobili’s wife, Marianela, had the couple’s third child on Monday morning. Baby boy Luca came via planned C-section, and Ginobili was able to attend the birth in the morning and get to practice that afternoon.
Ginobili joked that the NBA set its playoff schedule around Luca’s birth.
“I had a couple of conversations with (Commissioner) Adam Silver and it’s all figured out,” Ginobili said.
San Antonio faces Dallas on Wednesday after rallying to win Game 1 of their first-round playoff series 90-85 on Sunday afternoon.
Marianela gave birth prior to the team’s morning practice. The Spurs are off Tuesday, allowing Ginobili to bring Luca home and introduce him to the couple’s 3-year-old twin sons, Dante and Nicola.
The Ginobilis had a general timeframe set for the C-section, but were able to schedule it once the NBA released its playoff schedule last week.
In his 12th season with San Antonio, Ginobili has been healthier than he has been in years while averaging 12.3 points, 4.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds in just 23 minutes per game. His perseverance was evident when he surprised observers by arriving at the team’s practice facility less than hour after the birth of his son.
“He went in there this morning and a half hour later, he’s back at practice - pretty efficient guy,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said, smiling.
It made for a busy morning for the popular Spurs veteran. He woke at 4:45 a.m. and about two hours after arriving at the hospital, his third son was born weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces.
Ginobili has won three NBA titles with San Antonio, captured Olympic gold with his native Argentina and won a Euroleague championship, but he said that exhilaration is nothing compared to the births of his sons.
“The baby thing is very unique,” Ginobili said. “When I saw that head for the first time I just, it’s hard to contain tears. It’s a pretty incredible moment.”