Manu Ginobili will be remembered for a lot of accomplishments in a storied NBA career that officially ended on Monday.
One thing he’ll definitely be remembered for? That time he swatted a live bat out of mid-air during a San Antonio Spurs contest against the Sacramento Kings in 2009 (coincidentally, it was Oct. 31 — Halloween!):
In the Halloween victory over the Kings, Manu Ginobili scored 13 points and dished out three assists. But it was Ginobili's lone on-court swat that brought the AT&T Center crowd to its feet.
In the first quarter, a bat flew onto the court, halting play. Officials weren't able to snare the flying mammal, but they were able to scare it away, and play continued.
But late in the quarter, the bat returned. It flew near Ginobili, and the Argentine guard knocked the bat out of the air with a deft left-handed hook.
The bad news for Ginobili: the blogosphere may love BatManu, but the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals weren't impressed.
On the organization's official blog, The PETA Files, Amanda Schinke wrote:
To bludgeon a 4-ounce animal to death, it takes either a small man or a totally unthinking one with no respect or consideration for lives humbler than his own. This is a time when athletes in particular need to be on their best behavior around any animal and show that they have brains and a heart, not just reactionary brawn.Bats always try to avoid contact with humans, and there are plenty of easy ways to keep bats out of a basketball arena (or your home). We hope that the next time someone's life is on the line, Manu Ginobili will take just a few seconds to think before he acts.