Spurs re-sign guard Manu Ginobili

Originally Published: July 15, 2004
Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs re-signed guard Manu Ginobili on Thursday, taking care of their biggest offseason priority.

The team also announced the signing of free agent guard Brent Barry, who reached an agreement with the club last week.

Terms of the Ginobili deal were not announced, but media reports had said the contract was expected to be a six-year deal for an estimated $52 million. Barry's four-year deal was believed to be worth between $22 million and $24 million.

Ginobili, Argentina's biggest NBA star, had said he wanted to stay with the Spurs.

"Manu is a significant contributor to our program and the San Antonio community," said Spurs general manager R.C. Buford. "We are excited to have Manu in a Spurs uniform for years to come."

Ginobili, 26, has been with San Antonio for two seasons after being selected with the 57th overall pick in the 1999 draft. Last year, he averaged 12.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists and finished third in voting for the league's Sixth Man award.

Ginobili's brother said this week that his family had taken on added security precautions in crime-racked Argentina during the contract talks. Leandro Ginobili told the local TodosNoticias broadcast network that Buenos Aires provincial police have given the family a special security detail as a precaution.

Argentina has been plagued by a crime wave, including the ransom kidnappings of relatives of soccer stars and business executives.

Manu Ginobili was wed in a private ceremony Saturday in his native southern city of Bahia Blanca.

Barry, a free agent, left the Seattle Supersonics in hopes of increasing his chance for an NBA title.

"His athleticism, outside shooting and leadership make him a great addition to our franchise," Buford said.

The Spurs will become Barry's fifth team in his 10-year NBA career.

He averaged 10.8 points, 5.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds for the Sonics last season while splitting time at both guard positions.

The Spurs also signed rookie Romain Sato. The guard from Xavier was the 52nd overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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