For as long as he's been in the league, Taj Gibson has been considered one of the ultimate good guys.
That reputation won't be diminished in the slightest considering his reasoning for signing with the New York Knicks this summer.
Many expected the Bulls to make a run at Gibson to back up Lauri Markkanen at power forward. But as it turns out, the Knicks were going to be difficult to beat as a landing spot.
Via Marc Berman of the New York Post, Gibson decided to return home - he grew up in Brooklyn - to be closer to his father who recently underwent a heart transplant.
Gibson said he spent a large portion of June - in the lead-up to free agency - in New York as his father awaited a new heart. Gibson agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with the Knicks on the first day of free agency, just a few weeks after Wilbert Gibson had successful surgery in June.
The entire article is worth a read, but let us also add an anecdote Gibson shared about one of the first calls he received from a familiar voice.
Gibson knew lots of winning in seven seasons in Chicago — mostly with ex-Knicks assistant Tom Thibodeau. A known taskmaster, Thibodeau brought Gibson to the T’Wolves and knew of Gibson’s dream to one day be a Knick.
“Once I signed with New York, one of the first phone calls I got was from Thibs,” Gibson said. “That’s all we ever talked about throughout my time with Thibs — we always talked about New York.
“For it to finally happen, being able to say I was finally a New York Knick was a crazy feeling. We laughed for a minute. Then he was serious. He was like, ‘If anyone is capable of playing in New York, you’re a New York-style player.’ He knows me that I will play hard every night.”