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Isiah Thomas Reminisces About Argentina, Praises Ginobili: 'I Truly Love Manu'

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Isiah Thomas Reminisces About Argentina, Praises Ginobili: 'I Truly Love Manu'

By Javier Hasse and Natalia Kesselman.

Even non-basketball fans have heard of Isiah Thomas.

He's the legendary Detroit Pistons point guard and 12-time NBA All-Star. He retired in 1994, and later returned to the court as coach of the Indiana Pacers and, eventually, the New York Knicks.

The NBA Hall of Famer recently took over the role of CEO and vice chairman of the board of directors at One World Pharma (OTC: OWPC), a company focused on the medical use of CBD.

Seeking further insight into his appointment, we spoke with Thomas and could not resist asking him some b-ball questions.

Being Argentine natives, we asked the question that any Argentine would: What are your feelings on Manu Ginobili?

A Long-Standing Love

Candidly and without hesitation, Thomas replied: "I love Manu."

Thomas began to reminisce.

“You had a player there, who played in one of his professional leagues [in Argentina] for a while, his name is Willie Scott. And Willie Scott is my cousin. Every summer he would come home and he would tell me about Manu," he said, laughing out loud. “And that was before Manu got into the NBA!”

Ginobili played 16 years in the NBA, all for the San Antonio Spurs. He won four NBA titles with the Spurs and also won the league's Sixth Man of the Year award in 2008.

Scott, who was a member of the Baltimore Bullets, made his debut for the Argentine team Olimpo on May 11, 1989; the same day that Rubén Ariel Scolari took 30 rebounds, setting an undefeated record to this day.

Thomas said Willie was widely recognized for his participation in the Argentine Basketball National League.

However, "all he kept talking about was Manu."

A Childhood Move Makes The Big Leagues

Thomas revealed the admiration he and his cousin have for Manu ​​is tied to an anecdote that dates back to their childhood:

“One of the moves we used to do when we were kids, growing up, he showed Manu how to do it. And Manu came to the NBA doing the move that we all did as kids! You know, it was a very cool thing to watch.”

So, the cousins were watching Manu's game when Willie started yelling, “Tuss! That's the move! That is the move!”

Thomas says they were happy to see Manu put into practice this childhood classic.

"So yeah, I'm a big, big Manu fan."

Final Thoughts

The two-time NBA champion had one more story up his sleeve.

During his time as Pacers coach, he witnessed the final of the 2002 World Basketball Championship in the city of Indianapolis. The opponents were Argentina and Yugoslavia.

Thomas remembers that game well and had only good things to say about the golden generation of Argentine basketball.

“I looked at the way the Argentine national team was playing the game, and you could see a lot of my coaching. I looked at the way they were teaching the game, coaching the game, and I was extremely impressed by some of the things they were doing,” he said.

And while Manu Ginobili's home country didn't win the jackpot that year, receiving praise from Isiah Thomas is priceless.

Photo via Zereshk / Wikimedia.

 

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