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Argentina vs. USA
Manu GINOBILI (Argentina). Semi-final day of the 2008 Olympic Basketball Tournament for Men, Beijing's Wukesong Arena, China (22nd August. 2008).
ARG – Manu raring to go for Argentina

MAR DEL PLATA (FIBA Americas Championship) - Manu Ginobili is just months away from playing the FIBA Americas Championship in his own country.
To suggest the occasion is going to be an emotional one for the 2004 Olympic champion and the others in Argentina's golden generation who are still in the squad is an understatement.
This is going to be one of the most important summers of their lives.
"I notice the enthusiasm of the people," the 33-year-old Ginobili says, when asked about the event that is going to be staged in Mar del Plata.
"I speak to Luis (Scola), Chapu (Andres Nocioni) and Fabri (Fabricio Oberto), and it makes me happy because it will be a unique experience for all of us.
"After all of what we have experienced in the past, to return to play at home, among our people, it is going to be fantastic."
The 35-year-old Oberto retired because of lingering concerns about his heart at the beginning of this season, shortly after he joined the Portland Trail Blazers.
But in March, he threw open the possibility of trying to play at the event if doctors said he would not be at risk.
Even without Oberto, Argentina would be among the favorites to win the gold medal because they also have Milwaukee's Carlos Delfino and veteran national team stars Leo Gutierrez and Pablo Prigioni in the squad.
"We will be fighting to reach the Olympic Games," Ginobili says.
"It´s just going to be like the World Championship of last year, we had to aspire to win, to reach the podium and focus on the maximum aim.
"We have to go to this tournament with the best team possible. I understand that we need to bring some new players for the generational change but it is not easy. We have to win and qualify."
Ginobili, who hasn’t played for Argentina since the 2008 Olympics, had a rough end to what had been a spectacular 2010-11 NBA campaign with the San Antonio Spurs.
He hurt his elbow at the end of the regular season and it has not fully healed.
"Last Tuesday, I had a scan done," Ginobili says.
"The San Antonio medical team looked at the results and the bone edema is much better.
"The stain that was big before is now defused and smaller.
"Therefore, it is healing.
"There was a minor fracture in one of the bones and that is 85% healed.
"It is just a question of resting two or three weeks.
"They recommended that the first few days of training, I use a pad on my elbow to prevent any knocks.
"But they think I will not need to use it for the pre-Olympic (FIBA Americas Championship) and from now, there will no problems for me to play."
The potential NBA lockout has implications on the national team players' insurance and that was something that Ginobili addressed in this interview with the Clarin newspaper.
"It is a delicate issue because the franchises say that if one is not 100% the first day of pre-season training, they can end the contract without prior notice," Ginobili says.
"But my situation and that of (Houston Rockets forward) Luis Scola are different, even though we both carried injuries.
"I don´t think that if I arrive with an injury that would make me sit out one month, (that) the team will end my contract.
"I don´t think there will be a problem for me to be in Mar del Plata."

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