Credit: Soobum Im/USA Today Sports
Tim Duncan is one of the greatest players of all time, and he had arguably the most heartbreaking moment of his career in 2013. With the San Antonio Spurs on the cusp of beating the Miami Heat in the 2013 NBA Finals, Ray Allen hit what is considered one of the most iconic threes of all time, even though he didn't even think it was going in. This happened with Duncan on the bench, in what is considered to be a massive coaching blunder on the part of legendary coach Gregg Popovich.
Ray Allen's shot with 5.2 seconds remaining left the Spurs with enough time to win the game, but the referees stopped the game to review the big shot. This left the Spurs livid, as they were hoping that the Heat wouldn't get time to get set on defense. And it was something that was talked about after, with a lot of Spurs fans feeling angry by the decision.
However, there was another moment following the shot in which the rules were bent, and that came from the San Antonio Spurs themselves.
Duncan, who was on the bench during the play that had Allen hit the shot, was subbed in during the referees' review. This was an illegal move, as was noted and pointed out by Yahoo Sports.
"The Spurs entered Tim Duncan back into the game while Allen’s shot was being reviewed. Teams are not allowed to substitute players during referee reviews, because reviews aren’t technically a dead ball situation.
"Think about that. Tim Duncan could have capped a legendary career with a game-winning shot to win the 2013 NBA Finals, and it wouldn’t have even been legal. And there wouldn’t have been anything the referees – considering the NBA’s current in-game rules regarding mulligans – could have done about it."
This is wild because if the Spurs had managed to get off a play that allowed Duncan to make the final shot, it would have changed the course of NBA history. However, it was Tony Parker that took the shot at the buzzer, and it ended with Miami winning the game and subsequently the series. It's wild to think about how things would have been different if Duncan's illegal move had been allowed.
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