Now let me get this out of the way: what the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili did was a breathtaking, clever move. At the beginning of the Spurs’ fastbreak, he dribbled the ball through the legs of Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan. Absolutely masterful by Ginobili.
However, as you notice in the video, he had to go out of bounds (without touching the ball) to continue his break. And then he came back in and continued his dribble. I thought something was very wrong here.
So I looked up the rulebook from NBA.Com. I found this little rule:
b. A player in control of a dribble who steps on or outside a boundary line, even though not touching the ball while on or outside that boundary line, shall not be allowed to return inbounds and continue his dribble. He may not even be the first player to touch the ball after he has re-established a position inbounds.
But he was the first player to touch the ball after he went out of bounds. Therefore, shouldn’t this be called a violation? I can only come up with a couple of conclusions.
1. The referee probably didn’t know the rule. It’s not a call that happens often.
2. The move was so good and highlight-worthy that he decided not to make a call.
What’s worse about this is that the game went to double overtime. I’m not saying the no-call would make the whole difference between the Spurs/Raptors contest but, sometimes, a little momentum shift can go a long way. As it is, the Spurs went on to beat the Raptors in double overtime, 111-106.
I would’ve named Ginobili’s move the Play of the Day but I felt it was too questionable for my tastes.