You’ve seen the dunks by now, but how about we hear from Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson, who made headlines with his two posterizing dunks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Yes the dunks were a sight to behold, but Gibson did more than just electrify the United Center crowd with his two slams — one of which came in the final minute with the game well out of reach. Gibson contributed 9 points, 7 rebounds and consistently solid defense throughout his 23 minutes of action on Sunday night. And as you’ll hear, he’s more apt to remember his defensive performance than he is the two dunks that had everybody in Chicago jumping up and down with amazement.
On Monday afternoon, Gibson joined Waddle & Silvy on ESPN Radio Chicago (interview begins at 58:30 mark) to talk about the Bulls’ impressive Game 1 win over the Heat, his two highlight reel dunks, the performance of the Bulls’ bench, and what Coach Tom Thibodeau is likely going to get in their ear about as they try to build on the momentum from Sunday night for the remainder of the series which resumes Wednesday night in Chicago.
Thanks to SB Nation’s SportsRadioInterviews, we have a transcription of the Gibson interview, a portion of which I’ve shared below.
On which of his two dunks he liked better:
"I don’t really remember them to tell you the truth. It’s been a roller-coaster ride. I’m just happy we got the win."
So he’s saying he didn’t go home and watch highlights of his two impressive dunks?
"I swear, I haven’t even watched any film on it. Everybody just keeps texting me about it, but I honestly didn’t even watch it."
What criticism he’s expecting Coach Thibodeau to give the Bulls despite their impressive Game 1 win:
"I’m expecting him to really get into us about the post defense. He’s really going to tell us to forget what happened last night. And most of us in our heads right after the game, we just forgot about all the plays, we just told ourselves we have to get ready for the next game. We really don’t want to linger with the first game, we just want to move forward and try to put forth another good effort."
Whether there’s extra intensity and adrenaline to be facing the villain of the league, the Heat:
"It could be that, plus you’ve got to look at it — it’s the Eastern Conference Finals. Like Tibs said, these occasions come once every blue moon. So you really got to jump on it when you have a chance to seize the moment."
On the electricity in the United Center Sunday night starting with the stirring national anthem:
"He was great. I felt like I was at a Blackhawks game. He had the crowd pumped and the national anthem….I don’t know, the crowd was just buzzing from the anticipation for the game coming in. I don’t know, I was just hyped and Joakim got us hyped in the locker room so it was great."