Manu Ginobili is many things: versatile guard, lover of alfajores, and now you can add "bat swatter" to his growing list of roles. As the Spurs and Kings played on Halloween night, someone had the bright idea to release a live bat at the AT&T Center. The bat tried to dive into Kevin Martin on a breakaway layup, and later delayed the game by flying low around the court before fluttering by Ginobili.
An alert Ginobili tracked it and smacked the bat out of mid-air, then handed it off to arena staff as the crowd roared in applause. After getting a spray of hand sanitizer, the game proceeded as normal. Earlier in the game, the Spurs Coyote tried to corral the bat with a net, but all they really needed was Manu.
After the Spurs' victory, Ginobili had this to say: "I didn't think it was a big deal. Then the whole arena started chanting my name."
Added Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich: "He's never ceased to amaze me the years he's been here. ... He just did it again."
As Ball Don't Lie noted, this isn't the first time a flying creature stopped an NBA game. "Spirit," the Atlanta Hawks' real-life mascot, delayed a Hawks-Heat playoff game when it swooped down and perched on top of the backboard. One can only assume a hawk-bat hybrid straight out of Star Wars lore will be next to interrupt.
Curiously enough, Brett Pollakoff tried to snag some video of the Manu vs. bat showdown from the League Pass broadband DVR feature only to be denied by censorship. Hopefully no fines will be levied in the aftermath.
Just think: If Andy Roddick, right, wasn't exceptionally skilled at tennis, he might have been cookin' up hotcakes as a Waffle House chef. Click through to see more amusing Halloween sights from the sports world.