Playing a professional sport requires thinking on your feet -- sometimes literally.
That was the case for Minnesota Timberwolves big man Taj Gibson early in the first quarter against the Kings on Monday. Gibson's right sneaker fell off on offense, forcing him to carry it down the court and back on defense.
Naturally, Kings forward Nemanja Bjelica isolated Gibson on the ensuing position, which forced the veteran to get ... creative with his defensive stance.
Taj Gibson tried to block Nemanja Bjelica with his 👟 pic.twitter.com/3KnGs5y931— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) December 18, 2018
Luckily for Minnesota, Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns provided help defense, and blocked Bjelica's shot. But what would have happened in Gibson's shoe got a piece of the shot?
You'll be surprised to learn there is no direct provision addressing a player using a shoe as an extension of their hand. The closest thing we could find was in Rule No. 2, Section II (Duties of the Officials).
This section outlines what officials must inspect at the beginning of a game. Gibson's shoe situation occurred after the game had begun, but the section explicitly says that "equipment that is unnatural and designed to increasea a player's height or reach, or to gain an advantage, shall not be used."
In Section III of Rule No. 2, it says that "officials shall have the power to make decisions on any point not specifically covered in the rules." Had Gibson blocked Bjelica's shot, the next course of action would have been up to the refs.
A similar incident happened in the Philippines in 2015, when forward Rico Maierhofer tried to use a shoe on the defensive end. At the time, Philippines Basketball Association operations director Rickie B. Santos said Maierhofer could have been T'd up for using a "foreign object."
Sacramento could have used those points, and about 28 more in the first half. They headed back to the locker room at halftime trailing 74-44, one night after beating the Dallas Mavericks 120-113.