Folks, good news. After years of searching, we have finally found it—the pinnacle of Taj Gibson's NBA relevancy. In the first quarter of the Timberwolves' game against the powder-blue Kings last night, Gibson received the ball in the post, turned, dribbled, and hit a lay up over Nemanja Bjelica all while losing his shoe. Impressive enough. Then as possession swung to the Kings, Gibson picked up said shoe, hustled down the court, and attempted something that will send reverberations across the basketball landscape for years to come:
He tried to block a shot...with his shoe.
Gibson didn't end up getting the block, that stat instead goes to Karl-Anthony Towns, but the impact of this decision—and the ref's response of "hey sure, we haven't read this deep in the rulebook yet"—cannot be overstated. By year's end players will be blocking shots with fish nets and ping-pong paddles. They'll be wearing four-inch stilettos just to get an advantage. Every time someone gets a triple-double, shoes will rain down from the stands. Rex Ryan will start doing NBA analysis.
When we arrive there, in our bright, size-13 future, you'll know who to thank: Taj Gibson, innovator, icon, and the newest spokesman for Dr. Scholl's. Yeah, he's gellin'.