Gibson tells his side of the story after rare ejection

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Gibson tells his side of the story after rare ejection

In a game featuring the volatile personality of Knicks veteran Rasheed Wallace, who would have guessed that typically mild-mannered Bulls forward Taj Gibson -- though he plays with exuberance, Gibson is one of the most friendly players in the league -- would get his first career ejection in Saturday night's 93-85 home win over the Knicks?

After committing a foul on Knicks sharpshooter Steve Novak with 3:40 remaining in the second quarter, Gibson had some words for one of the game officials that were deemed over the line, resulting in a technical foul. En route to the bench, as teammate Joakim Noah was set to replace him, Gibson briefly turned back to make another comment, prompting a second technical foul and automatic ejection.

"My second one? I didn't curse or anything like that," he said afterwards. "I just said, 'Are you serious?'"

Apparently that was enough to warrant his ejection -- the referee might see it differently -- but regardless, the already short-handed Bulls, who wouldn't have the services of starting point guard Kirk Hinrich after halftime following a left-elbow injury, managed to gut out a gritty win. Still, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau wasn't pleased, as his team has been racking up more technicals than usual this season, with Joakim Noah entering Saturday tied for the league lead with five on the young campaign.

"We Gibson and Thibodeau talked about it briefly. There were some tough calls that I thought went against him and it's an emotional game, but we have to do better with that. When you get one, you've got to let it go and sometimes that's just the way it goes," the coach said. "The calls are not going to go your way all the time and when they don't go your way, you've got to be able to still get through that and get your job done."

For Gibson's part, he was surprised that he received such a quick hook, especially without a reputation as a ref-baiter.

"It was crazy. I don't know. It was just one of those nights when asking questions wasn't a good thing. I tried to ask questions, but I guess the more you kind of talk to the refs, it gets intense. You've got a lot of different guys complaining about calls. I'm never the type to complain about calls or anything like that. I try to just lead by example and let my game speak for itself. I just overreacted, I guess," he told CSNChicago.com. "The official didn't give me any explanation. He just T'd me up. I thought after one, he was going to say, 'All right, one.' But I think he overreacted by giving me two real quick because he didn't even give me a chance to react. He just gave me one, two. But the second one I didn't say anything. I was just going to sit down. But that's the way the game is. The refs control the game. You can't do no right or no wrong.

"They thought I was Rasheed Wallace," Gibson continued, trying to find some humor in the situation. "I never complain, but hey, there's a first time for everything. But the only thing about was coming into the locker room.

"Rip Hamilton was looking at me laughing like, 'You didn't get your money's worth, at least.' But I just took it and went in the back. It's cool."

Despite not having Gibson in the second half against his hometown team, the Bulls were stout defensively and with the East-leading Knicks going to a small lineup, Thibodeau utilized Luol Deng and reserve Jimmy Butler at the forward positions next to Joakim Noah -- limiting starting power forward Carlos Boozer's playing time, even after he had a solid first half of play -- and a backcourt of hot-shooting Marco Belinelli and backup point guard Nate Robinson to pull out the hard-earned victory.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bulls welcome Cavaliers to town

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bulls welcome Cavaliers to town

In the latest installment of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, the panel previews the Bulls' matchup against the Cavaliers. 

Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by Mark Carman (WGN Radio), David Schuster (670 The Score) and Kendall Gill to break down the keys to a Bulls win. Later, Vincent Goodwill (CSNChicago.com) joins Luke to discuss the team's progress. 

Finally, LeBron James pays off his World Series bet and the entire media world is there to see it. 

Check out the SportsTalk Live Podcast below: 

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia will both return to the White Sox in 2017.

The team announced it reached deals with both players shortly before Friday’s 7 p.m. CST nontender deadline. Lawrie will earn $3.5 million next season and Garcia received a one-year deal for $3 million.

The club didn’t tender a contract to right-handed pitcher Blake Smith, which leaves its 40-man roster at 38.

Acquired last December for a pair of minor leaguers, Lawrie hit .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 36 RBIs in 94 games before he suffered a season-ending injury.

Lawrie produced 0.9 f-WAR when he suffered what then-manager Robin Ventura described a “tricky” injury on July 21. Despite numerous tests and a lengthy rehab, Lawrie never returned to the field and was frustrated by the experience. Last month, Lawrie tweeted that he believes the cause of his injury was wearing orthotics for the first time in his career.

He was projected to earn $5.1 million, according to MLBTraderumors.com and earned $4.125 million in 2016.

Garcia hit .245/.307/.385 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs in 453 plate appearances over 120 games. The projected salary for Garcia, arb-eligible for the first time, was $3.4 million.

The team also offered contracts to Miguel Gonzalez and Todd Frazier, who are eligible for free agency in 2018, first baseman Jose Abreu and relievers Dan Jennings, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka, among others.

The White Sox have until mid-January to reach an agreement with their arbitration-eligible players. If they haven’t, both sides submit figures for arbitration cases, which are then heard throughout February.