It's Karl-Anthony Towns who, in the end, gets the block on Nemanja Bjelica's attempted layup during Monday night's game.
And Towns rejecting the shot of an ex-teammate is interesting enough. But it's fairly routine. Towns has 115 blocks this season, good for eighth-most in the league, and will surely accumulate many more as the season goes on.
By comparison: How many times, between now and the NBA Finals, do you suppose someone will attempt to block a shot using his own shoe? We're going to guess zero, and would give you very, very good odds if you wanted to bet the answer is "more than once."
Taj Gibson's hard work and craftiness as a defensive player is well-known already, so maybe we should've expected this is exactly how this sequence would play out:
Gibson exhibiting low post strength and scoring a bucket; Gibson tracking back, shoe in hand; Bjelica calling for the ball to take advantage of his temporarily weakened opponent; Gibson d'ing up anyway, chasing Bjelica (shoe in the air!) and getting an arm into him as he went up for the shot.
one shoe— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) December 18, 2018
zero problems ���� pic.twitter.com/QrcuuKculQ
We'd say we've never seen anything like it, but if you've been watching Minnesota sports for a while... maybe you kinda have:
And look, it's not as if we're encouraging Byron Buxton to deliberately drop his glove while chasing down a deeply hit ball to center field, or Rebekah Brunson to get some crazy bangs cut that make it so she can't see the rim while rebounding. We're merely saying it's good to see someone lose a shoe mid-play and decide, "Well, whatever, at least it wasn't my foot," and keep right on playing.
The Wolves won 132-105 last night, ending a four-game losing streak, and starting a one-game doing-cool-shit-while-shoeless-streak.