Report: Spurs legend Manu Ginobili returning to franchise as special advisor

San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili celebrates a three-point basket during the second half of Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Golden State Warriors in San Antonio, Sunday, April 22, 2018, in San Antonio. (Darren Abate/AP)

San Antonio Spurs legend Manu Ginobili is returning to the franchise as a special advisor to basketball operations, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Ginobili will reportedly focus on player development, both on and off the court.

Wojnarowski adds that head coach Gregg Popovich, CEO R.C. Buford and general manager Brian Wright have sought out Ginobili's involvement since he retired in 2018.

A two-time all-star, Ginobili played a key role in bringing four championships to San Antonio from 2003 to 2014, often in a sixth-man role.

Though his career averages of 13.3 points, 3.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds don't resemble all-time stats, the Argentina native is widely considered a shoo-in inductee to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for his contributions to the dynastic Spurs and his international achievements.

Ginobili famously led Argentina to Olympic gold at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.

The crafty shooting guard built a successful career playing pro ball in Italy, where he earned Italian league MVP honours in 2001 and 2002, before moving to the NBA at 25 years old and playing 16 seasons -- all in San Antonio.

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