Saturday, March 22, 2014

Why Does 'Looney Tunes' Love Manu Ginobili?

Imagine you're a mutimillionaire lounging around your house with your kids one morning, watching cartoons, when you think you hear one of the cartoon characters mention the name of a friend of yours. Wait, did that cartoon just say what you think it said? It was over so quick, you're not quite sure.

But San Antonio Spurs basketball player Tim Duncan called his teammate, Manu Ginobili, and told him that a character on The Looney Tunes Show had mentioned Manu.

Then it happened again. "It was funny the first time," Ginobili told the San Antonio Express-News. "The second time, I was like, OK, something is going on."

What was going on? Here, watch one of the references (it happens near the end):

Of course, in the clip above, it's Speedy Gonzales who Yosemite Sam tags as "Manu Ginobili." Manu is from Argentina, a native Spanish-speaker.

Spurs fans might compare Manu more to the Tasmanian Devil, however. Ginobili's anything-goes game of ridiculous passes through opponents' legs, crazy steps to the basket, how-did-he-see-that bullet passes, behind-the-back drives to the hoop and amazing last-second shots make him one of the best-loved athletes - heck, people - in San Antonio history. And makes him a player opposing fans view as a pest.

Here's an example of some of Ginobili's magic:

There's a whole YouTube clip dedicated to Ginobili's passes between opponents' legs. And there are many YouTube clips whose titles start with the words, "Manu Ginobili crazy ..." (pass, dribble, shot, whatever).

But back to Looney Tunes. Here's Bugs Bunny's wife Lola, making sure Bugs knows how much she loves Manu by carrying his basketball card in her purse:

And here's how the new Looney Tunes closed its show one day:

So what's the deal? It turns out that the head writer of The Looney Tunes Show is Hugh Davidson. And Davidson is from ... San Antonio. His favorite player is Manu, so he throws in a Manu reference here and there.

"It's madness watching him play," Davidson told the Express-News. "I think he's the most entertaining player to ever put on a uniform. His brain is not like anyone else's."

No, Manu's brain is not like anyone else's. Maybe that's why another "loony tunes" - Charles Barkley - loves Manu, too. Barkley's in the happen of simply screaming out "Ginobili!" whenever the mood strikes him:

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