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Emotional Manu Ginobili addresses Erin Popovich’s passing (vid)

Manu Ginobili presumably spoke on behalf of the entire San Antonio Spurs family on Thursday when emotionally addressing the passing of Gregg Popovich’s wife.

Erin Popovich passed away early Wednesday at the age of 67 after a lengthy battle with an illness. The couple was married four decades and had two children and two grandchildren.

The Spurs have announced Popovich will not coach in Thursday’s Game 3 showdown with the Golden State Warriors. Assistant coach Ettore Messina will step in as Popovich’s replacement. The Spurs currently are down 2-0 to the defending champion Warriors.

Ginobili met with reporters Thursday and discussed how the team is left “devastated” and “hurting” while mourning Erin Popovich’s death. Ginobili added it’s hard not having Pop with the team.

“We are devastated. We are hurting,” Ginobili said in part Thursday, as transcribed by the New York Post. “We all know the type of guy Pop is. Not many people know the type of girl that Erin was. It’s painful to go through this — there’s never a good time. We’re all hurting. We want to be next to Pop. We want to support him. We want to go out there and compete today. For sure, we are struggling. It’s not an easy day.

“We’ll do our best when the time comes to play.”

Ginobili has spent his entire 16-year NBA career with the Spurs, so it’s reasonable to assume he may have gotten to know Popovich’s wife well over that time. Either way, it’s clear the Spurs are navigating an extremely difficult time.