After being waived by the New York Knicks in early July, Brooklyn native Taj Gibson will make his return to Madison Square Garden on Friday night. The 37-year-old signed a one-year, $2.9 million deal with the Washington Wizards after spending three seasons with the Knicks.
Gibson had the choice to remain in New York alongside Tom Thibodeau for a lesser salary, but after the Knicks converted Jericho Sims’ two-way contract and signed Isaiah Hartenstein in free agency, Gibson opted to leave for a team where he could have a bigger role.
He’s played in two of Washington’s preseason games and is averaging 6.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 11.5 minutes. In both teams’ preseason finale tonight, Gibson will likely play a solid amount of minutes with Kristaps Porizingis being out.
Porzingis’ presence on the bench will be enough for Knicks fans to boo him, but that won’t be the case for Gibson.
Knicks will host Taj Gibson and the Wizards in Friday’s preseason finale
The reason why New York waived Taj Gibson and his non-guaranteed $5 million for 2022-23 was to clear more cap space to sign Jalen Brunson. At long last, the Knicks have their point guard of the future, but it came at the expense of losing a valuable veteran presence in Gibson.
Obviously, the front office made the right choice in doing what needed to be done to sign Brunson, but it’ll be bittersweet to see Gibson in a Wizards uniform tonight.
Former assistant coach Mike Woodson was in Indiana on Wednesday night to watch the Knicks take on the Pacers, and the players were thrilled to see him. You can expect a similar reaction tonight when players see Gibson, although Gibson likely won’t kiss Obi Toppin on the top of the head.
Taj has said that he’d like to be a coach one day, and hopefully, that’ll happen with his hometown team. He’ll always have a place at 4 Pennsylvania Plaza.