Players often say the right things during exit interviews. They talk about sacrificing for the team. They talk about the organization and how class act it is. How wonderful it is to play with [insert player] here. All of that is press speak.
During our time in Oklahoma City, we’ve heard it all. This Thunder U. type of atmosphere that once budded a group walking from the practice to a movie, to everyone doing their own thing now a days is gone. The days since James Harden talked about sacrificing to Kevin Durant saying he’s going stay in Oklahoma City forever are done and we are no longer falling for all of those lines.
“My world was rocked when I was traded but luckily I came to a first class organization,” Gibson said.
Taj Gibson, acquired at the trade deadline, said all of the right things during his exit interviews. He’s become a fan favorite due to his nose-to-the-grind attitude and no excuses demeanor.
“I wanted to let Sam know I wanted to be here,” Gibson said.
Gibson averaged 9.0 points, 4.5 rebounds on 49.7 percent shooting since the trade to Oklahoma City this season. Along with Doug McDermott, Oklahoma City really thrived after the break, going 14-9.
“I had a long talk with Sam and coach Billy,” Gibson said. “First class organization. Hope I can be back.”
Gibson, 31, has been in the playoffs almost ever year he’s been in the NBA. He was a blessing to Oklahoma City. He provided stability to a position where Oklahoma City struggled throughout the season. For Gibson, he’s going to do what’s best for himself, not organization, despite how first class it is.
Will Gibson take a pay cut and head to a strong title contender, maybe a Cleveland or even, gulp, a Golden State? Maybe. Players want a ring to secure their legacy. You get into this league to win a ring and we judge everyone by their career due to their ring count. Gibson could command some real money if he chose to take what he’s worth. He’s expected to make around $9 million in upcoming free agency, which would max out what the Thunder could afford.
For the Thunder, if Gibson returns to Bricktown, Oklahoma City will have a pillar of stability in what has become a season of transition. Gibson fits the motto Oklahoma City wants in their players. He respects hard work and respects his teammates.
Even if Gibson doesn’t come back to Oklahoma City, his words are glowing about Oklahoma City.
“This city has some great fans,” Gibson said. “Everywhere I go kind words Going to the Memorial. Tells me why players should want to come here.”
The city would be lucky to keep Gibson.
Gibson would be lucky to stay in Oklahoma City.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!