NBA star Manu Ginobili says there are lots of reasons he's still ballin' in his 40s ... but the BIG one is something he shares with Tom Brady -- the ol' ball and chain!
We got Manu out in D.C. ... and asked if his wifey, Marianela, has his back like Gisele does Brady. FYI, Gisele recently revealed she's A-OK with Tom playing football for as long as he wants ... as long as it makes him happy.
Turns out, Mrs. Ginobili doesn't just sign off on her man logging more game-time -- she's what's kept him sharp through his 16 YEARS on the Spurs.
"She's always very helpful and extended my career," Ginobili told TMZ Sports in D.C.
Sorry, Gisele -- Marianela's overtaken you in our WAGs rankings (yeah, we do that).