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The Bernstein Brief: Appreciate Manu Ginobili

By Dan Bernstein-- senior columnist

(CBS) If that was it for Spurs guard Manu Ginobili on Monday night, his unique style and unparalleled range of career accomplishments deserve recognition.

The man who helped bring the "Euro step" move into the mainstream was a four-time NBA champion with the Spurs, EuroLeague champion with Italy's Kinder Bologna in 2001 and the leading scorer for Argentina when they won Olympic gold in 2004.

He spent his entire NBA career in San Antonio, in what turned out to be an ideal time and place for his artful game to be put to use as one of the all-time great bench scorers. Ceaselessly interesting as a player in ways many of his cookie-cutter competitors weren't, the left-hander became an early summer entertainment fixture in his 213 playoff games that saw him average 14.4 points.

He came to the NBA at the relatively old age of 25 and looks to be leaving at 39, his legacy cast as the best EuroLeaguer to make the jump to the NBA. There was a time when the basketball world didn't feel as small and interconnected as it now does, and the sustained success and telegenic play of Manu Ginobili is a big reason for the game's accelerated internationalization.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score's "Bernstein and Goff Show" in afternoon drive. You can follow him on Twitter  @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.

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