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That Taj Gibson Ejection From Monday’s Cavs-Bulls Game Was Total Bullsh*t (Video)
With just over 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of Game 5 between the Cavaliers and Bulls, Chicago forward Taj Gibson plowed through Cleveland guard Matthew Dellavedova underneath the basket, knocking him to the floor. Then Gibson kicked Dellavedova while he was down, earning a flagrant 2 and an automatic ejection.
Or at least that’s the official story. Gibson said emphatically after the game that he did not kick Dellavedova, and having seen the play briefly on my phone last night, I was like, does he think we’re stupid? However, when you look at the replays closely, you see he’s right.
Check it out:
Let’s start with the initial contact, shall we? Yes, Gibson definitely ran into the back of Dellavedova. But it wasn’t as violent as it at first seemed. Both players were running to the basket when Dellavedova put on the breaks and leaned backwards, at which point Gibson ran into him. It was probably still a foul on Gibson, but not a flagrant foul.
Now, about this “kick.” On the replay, you can clearly—nay, all-caps CLEARLY—see that Dellavedova has his legs wrapped around Gibson’s left ankle, that Gibson performs a kicking motion to free himself of the hold, and that Gibson doesn’t ever make contact with anything other than the leg Dellavedova was using to hold him.
So kicking motion? Yes. Kick? No. But it’s understandable why the referees would have thought Gibson deserved a flagrant 2 having just seen the encounter with the naked eye. Just look at that screen cap at the top of this post.
The problem? Joey Crawford (yeah, him) and company looked at the replay, as referees always do when they are considering assessing a flagrant 2. And they still got it wrong.
So if you ask me, that Taj Gibson ejection was bullsh*t.