First of all, how is your hand ? (Ginobili broke his left hand two weeks ago)
The hand is good. Today is eleven days from the surgery, I got the stitches off. It’s a slow process but it’s going well. The surgery was great. I’m starting to rehab but I'll be out for at least four more weeks.
Before the injury, you were playing like an All-star. Is it hard to miss all those games ?
Yes it’s really hard. We’ve waited a long time for the lockout to stop so we could start playing again. And after the first five games, I was doing well, the team was winning. But now, having to sit for a month and a half, it’s hard. I’m a little sad but there’s nothing I can do. I need to stay positive, be patient and come back strong.
When are you coming back ?
Well, with the doctors, we'll need to see when the bone will be healed. But I think I could be back between the 10th and the 15th of February, a couple weeks before the All-Star game. That would be awesome. But you can't really tell, it’s a bone and you just have to wait for it to heal.
During the lockout, you decided to stay in San Antonio. Why didn’t you play in Argentina or in Italy?
First of all, after the Olympics qualifiers, I was really tired and I wanted to take a couple weeks off. To just relax and enjoy my family, my friends. After that, I had a good offer from Bologna and I was considering going back. But I have twins now and I didn’t want to move my entire family to Italy. Especially if we had to move back to San Antonio after only a couple weeks. Nobody knew how long the lockout was going to be. I decided to wait, I’m 34 and I think it was the smartest thing to do.
You spent nine years in San Antonio, what are you best memories ?
Probably the 2005 and 2007 championships. The first championship (in 2003), I was too young and I really didn’t appreciate it as much as I would now. But in 2005 and 2007, it was just unbelievable. The 2005 championship was the most intense because of the Finals against the Pistons. We played a seventh game and the fact that we couldn’t loose that game made it even better when we won. It was a very special moment.
Do you think San Antonio can win a championship this year ?
Of course. We can win it all. We’re not among the favorites but Dallas wasn’t the favorite last year either. We always have good teams. Last year, we’ve won 61 games. We all know we had a bad first round in the playoffs, but we had a few injuries and Memphis played great. I think we are capable of winning this year.
You love playing for Argentina. Will the London Olympics be your last competition?
Yes I really love playing for Argentina. My first year with the team was in 98 so it’s been a long time. I’ve always appreciated my teammates and it’s a great pride to play in the Olympics. But I’m going to be 35 next summer so there’s a great chance that it will be my last tournament.
You carried the flag for Argentina in the 2008 Olympics. Was that a great memory ?
That was unbelievable. When they told me I was going to carry the flag, I said: "all right, I’ll do it". But when they actually gave me the flag and I was waiting there, I realized there were hundred of millions of people watching and I was becoming the face of the country. It was a special moment and one of the highlights of my career. It was just great.
What is your best starting five in the NBA all-time ?
We are young so I prefer to talk about the modern NBA. I would say: John Stockton at point guard. At 2, Michael Jordan of course. At 3, Larry Bird. At 4, Tim Duncan. And at 5, Hakeem Olajuwon or Kareem Abdul Jabbar. But my favorite team ever is the 2005 Spurs’ team!