Argentine Former NBA Star Switches Sports, Buys San Antonio Missions Baseball Team

The former San Antonio Spurs star enters baseball with the purchase of the Texan minor league team

Manu Ginóbili, exjugador argentino de la NBA.
By Belén Escobar (EN) and Adam Critchley
November 26, 2022 | 06:00 AM

Buenos Aires — Argentine former professional basketball player Emanuel Ginóbili has switched sports and bought the San Antonio Missions minor league baseball team, his latest investment after having tried the used-car market and invested in a number of startups.

The 45-year-old Argentine has partnered with David Robinson, another former basketball player, to enter the sport with the acquisition of the team, which has had the same owners since 1980.

The change of sport echoes the move by Michael Jordan, who become a minority owner of the Miami Marlins.

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The acquisition that will lead the former San Antonio Spurs player to become co-owner of the San Antonio Missions is part of his entrepreneurial career following his retirement from the NBA.

A glittering career

Ginóbili enjoyed a 23-year professional career and was one of only two players, the other being Bill Bradley, to have won a EuroLeague title, an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal.

He won the gold medal with the Argentine national basketball team at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, the first time a team other than the USA won gold in 16 years, and the Argentine lineup became known as the ‘golden generation’.

Ginóbili was the first non-US player to win both the NBA championship ring and the Olympic gold medal.

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A four-time NBA champion, Ginóbili played for the San Antonio Spurs for his entire 16-year NBA career, and was one of the so-called ‘Big Three’, along with teammates Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.

Since September 2021, Ginóbili has been a special advisor of basketball operations for the Spurs.

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Other investments by Ginóbili

In mid-2022, Ginóbili, named the best sixth man in the NBA in 2008, became a shareholder of Kavak, a Mexican used-car-sales startup that has a presence in several Latin American countries and recently entered Turkey and the Middle East.

Prior to that, Ginóbili entered Newtopia VC as a partner, a fund focused on startups in seed or pre-seed stage, and he is also a shareholder of the Argentine fintech Ualá, among other investments.