The infinite timeout loophole that almost broke the 1976 NBA Finals

  • Published: 05 February 2019
  • The Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns faced off in the 1976 NBA Finals, and with the game in double overtime the Suns did something so genius that it seemed idiotic. But really, they just knew the rules. They called a timeout they didn't have, and were assessed with a technical foul, but it allowed them to inbound the ball from half court instead of under their own basket. With just 1 second left, this meant they had a better chance to get a shot off, and without knowing how to break the rules in your favor, it never would've worked.

    Watch the video to find out what happened after that, and also why a fan fought a referee in the middle of all of this.

    Written and produced by Ryan Simmons and Seth Rosenthal
    Shot by Mike Imhoff
    Animations and graphics by Philip Pasternak


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Comments • 791

  • cJinL
    cJinL  10 hours back

    Why are people mentioning the end of the recent Finals? This video is about an old loophole that used to exist in the rules. It no longer exists and you can't get timeouts when you're out of them. The situation described in here is not at all what happened in 2019.

    • Zayntp3 The Great
      Zayntp3 The Great  19 hours back

      This explains the 2019 nba finals

      • Back 2 Back
        Back 2 Back  1 days back

        Game 6 warriors vs raptors, warriors call time out with 0.9 seconds left, but they didn’t have any timeout

        • Personified Pi
          Personified Pi  2 days back

          Wouldn’t the Suns get the ball anyways because the Celtic had just scored?

          • Mikhail Mihaltses
            Mikhail Mihaltses  2 days back

            Personified Pi no because its a 1 point technical and you get the ball back

        • Josiah Lott
          Josiah Lott  3 days back

          This almost happened in this year's finals

          • Scope Analogy
            Scope Analogy  3 days back


            • Grayhoof
              Grayhoof  3 days back

              Didn't break the 2019 finals!

              • The Man of Constant Sorrow Elias

                These views are about to jump

                • Pam Correa
                  Pam Correa  4 days back

                  Happened a while ago at nba finals

                  • Mark Bryan Bautista
                    Mark Bryan Bautista  4 days back

                    You guys are bad storytellers

                    • Shadoww
                      Shadoww  4 days back

                      I like how this was recomended after the finals

                      • some cunning linguist
                        some cunning linguist  4 days back

                        I can't BELIEVE this just happened in the finals - .9 seconds left, Warriors called the time out, technical foul, Kawhi got the point

                        And the last game, raptors lose by one, next day the NBA says "yeah he should have gotten the free throw our bad"

                        • ChickenPeach
                          ChickenPeach  4 days back

                          Can't believe this happen in the 2019 Finals. I saw it and freaked out cause of this episode. Keep up the great work

                          • Nick Millette
                            Nick Millette  4 days back

                            Anyone here after Draymond called a timeout with none left in the finals?

                            • Juan Sosa
                              Juan Sosa  4 days back

                              Here just to make sure the 2019 finals didn't get messed up

                              • monkeyskull1
                                monkeyskull1  4 days back

                                That Raptors game... Came so close lol

                                • Ro Vyas
                                  Ro Vyas  4 days back

                                  Well...well...well... NBA Finals 2019 Game 6 last 15 seconds

                                  • Adrian Arshad
                                    Adrian Arshad  4 days back

                                    Warriors did this. LOL

                                    • TCI Force
                                      TCI Force  4 days back

                                      Anybody thought of this video after 2019 NBA Finals ending?

                                    • David Clark
                                      David Clark  4 days back

                                      This rule was literally just used in Game 6 of this year's finals and I knew about it cuz if this video. What an insane ending!

                                      • David Clark
                                        David Clark  13 hours back

                                        @cJinL guess I should clarify. I meant I was surprised I actually saw a team use a timeout when they didn't actually have one in this year's NBA finals, and I immediately thought back to this video and how the rule had since changed from when it happened in the 70s.

                                      • cJinL
                                        cJinL  14 hours back

                                        ...this was not used at all. The rule has changed so that you give up 1 point and also give the OTHER team the ball. It's entirely a bad thing. You watched the game didn't you?

                                    • Christian Phillips
                                      Christian Phillips  4 days back

                                      Warriors tried it lol

                                      • Damián Neuenschwander

                                        Who's here after watching Draymond do this?

                                        • charles kim
                                          charles kim  4 days back

                                          What a raptor's game.
                                          2019, finals time out rule

                                          • Oteph 808
                                            Oteph 808  4 days back

                                            Deja vue 2019 raptors verse golden state

                                            • Tyler Takaro
                                              Tyler Takaro  4 days back

                                              It almost happened again!

                                              • Bhargava Niladhuri
                                                Bhargava Niladhuri  4 days back

                                                NBA finals 2019

                                                • G Johnson
                                                  G Johnson  1 weeks back

                                                  U guys should piggy back this episode with Chris Webber's timeout in the Michigan game

                                                  • David Williams
                                                    David Williams  2 weeks back

                                                    The Suna made it to the Finals in 1993 and had a triple overtime game in Chicago. Paul Westphal was a Suns player in 1976 and their coach in 1993. After winning the triple overtime game Westphal said the good guys won this time.

                                                    • David Williams
                                                      David Williams  2 weeks back

                                                      Gar Heard shot was famously called the shot heard round the world.


                                                      • SurrealScotsman
                                                        SurrealScotsman  2 weeks back

                                                        Explained the rule pretty well
                                                        - Still not really any the wiser what the hell happened...

                                                        • Ryan H
                                                          Ryan H  2 weeks back

                                                          Why dont you guys just blow each other and get it over with

                                                          • Ethan Bush
                                                            Ethan Bush  2 weeks back

                                                            The day, June 17th, 1978
                                                            The place, Scandinavian Raceway, Sweden.

                                                            It was the 48th and final running of the F1 Swedish Grand Prix. Brabham’s engineers were thinking of a way to combat Lotus’s “ground effect” downforce technology. So, they put a huge fan under a car (the Brabham BT46B), therefore sucking it to the ground. And as a wise man once said, “ain’t no rule sayin’ ( insert thing here).” Brabham finished 1-2 that race, and then they pulled the car from F1. Not because it was banned by the FIA, but because they didn’t want to go through the stuff after it was. Ground effect was banned after the end of the 1978 season

                                                            • Scott Bilger
                                                              Scott Bilger  3 weeks back

                                                              1:52 What does he mean by "they could afford to give them two points"? Phoenix would then be behind by 3. I don't understand.

                                                              • Skeptis Trader
                                                                Skeptis Trader  3 weeks back

                                                                you are NOT Simon Sinek

                                                                • Rauldiazh
                                                                  Rauldiazh  3 weeks back

                                                                  I didn't understand the 'luxury tax' in this case. So if the score was Celtics 111 - Suns 110, that means that the Suns took an 'illegal' timeout and got a point removed?

                                                                  If not the case, why mention it?

                                                                  • frankfort332
                                                                    frankfort332  2 weeks back

                                                                    The Celtics got a free throw. Almost a guaranteed 1 point

                                                                • Awwscrewit
                                                                  Awwscrewit  3 weeks back

                                                                  You should do a similar episode on Roger Nielsons career.

                                                                  • Pugduddly
                                                                    Pugduddly  3 weeks back

                                                                    I know *literally* nothing about sports, but this seems interesting lol

                                                                    • RipleySawzen
                                                                      RipleySawzen  3 weeks back

                                                                      I feel like this rule was completely unnecessary. There are all sorts of weird tricks to force an overtime to happen. This is simply one of the more clever ones.

                                                                      • Jack Artzy
                                                                        Jack Artzy  3 weeks back

                                                                        Talk about the Edmonton Oilers 4 on 4 Gretzky rule. The Edmonton Oilers would get purposely offsetting penalties so Gretzky could have more room to skate and score

                                                                        • Freddie Moore
                                                                          Freddie Moore  4 weeks back

                                                                          I'd love to see a video about cricket
                                                                          There are quite a few rules
                                                                          1. A batsman can literally be 'timed out' if they fail to make it to the batting crease in time

                                                                          2. You can be caught behind if the ball hits the straps of the batsman's pads

                                                                          3. If a batsman is given out then the captain of the fielding team can withdraw the wicket if they feel that it was unfair to the batsman. An example of this was when English Batsman Ian Bell was run out after walking off the field because the umpire had mistakingly signalled a boundary and it was the end of the session. India Captain MS Dhoni withdrew the run out afterwards.

                                                                          4. The fielding team has to appeal for every wicket; if they don't, even if it is obvious, the umpire does not have to give it out. Further, a fielding team can appeal with one type of dismissal in mind, but then find that it's given out for a different reason.

                                                                          5. If a team can not locate the ball after a shot, then they can call 'lost ball' and 5 runs will be added to the batsman score, as well as any runs taken. However, in a game between Victoria and Western Australia in 1894 the ball was hit into a tree, where it became lodged. WA called 'lost ball' but as they could locate the ball, the Umpire denied the claim. This lead to the V team running until they could get the ball down. They ran 286 times before the ball was returned, to add even more hilarity, the equipment used to get the ball down was a rifle, which was fired at the ball, further, if the fielding team had caught it, it would have been out, meaning NONE of the runs would have counted.
                                                                          (This next fact I was told, but have not been able to verify) . The 'lost ball' rule only came into fruition because the batter hit the ball down a rabbit hole, and so the fielding team had to literally dig the ball out whilst the batsmen continued to run; scoring a very very large number of runs.

                                                                          6. Before every day of cricket the entire pitch should be mowed, including the wicket. Obvious cricket is played over multiple days, so grass does not always grow on the wicket. However, even if there is no grass on the wicket, the mower must still 'mow' the wicket, though they raise the blades to not cause damage to the wicket itself.

                                                                          7. They had to change a rule forbidding players for leaving the pitch for any reason other than injury or illness because a player was not allowed to leave the pitch to use the bathroom and so just went on the pitch.

                                                                          8. In 1771, before America was even independent!, a cricketer called Thomas White discovered a loophole in the laws of cricket and so was playing in a match between Chertsey and Hambledon when he used a bat as wide as the wicket, therefore making it impossible to bowl him out. The rule was later changed to be a max width of 4.5 inches/

                                                                          I'm sure there are more that have been changed over times as well

                                                                          • Javi Suarez
                                                                            Javi Suarez  4 weeks back

                                                                            All 724 likes are just multiple accounts made by Chris Webber

                                                                            • Javi Suarez
                                                                              Javi Suarez  4 weeks back

                                                                              Chris Webber punching the air right now

                                                                              • MrFelix1812
                                                                                MrFelix1812  1 months back

                                                                                Bill Belichick is that guy, he literally knows every rule and knows hot to take advantage of them

                                                                                • Da snake 19
                                                                                  Da snake 19  1 months back

                                                                                  Rewatching... RIP havlicek

                                                                                  • Sahil Mambilly
                                                                                    Sahil Mambilly  1 months back

                                                                                    Never played Basketball, don't know the rules.
                                                                                    Why am I here!?

                                                                                    • Jack Palmer
                                                                                      Jack Palmer  2 months back

                                                                                      Do the England v Italy rugby six nations 2018 game

                                                                                      • skiie
                                                                                        skiie  2 months back

                                                                                        Do the story where Kobe rape that woman

                                                                                        • Michael Jurney
                                                                                          Michael Jurney  2 months back

                                                                                          lol like this guy really just knew off hand who played in the 1976 nba playoffs.