Taj Gibson didn’t treat former teammate Omer Asik like an old friend Thursday evening.
In the fourth quarter of the Bulls’ 111-87 win over the Rockets at the United Center, the Bulls’ sixth man threw down a vicious dunk over Houston’s backup center, his former tag-team partner off the bench.
“I really didn’t even think about it. I get amped up when I see stuff like that. My eyes just open up when I see a guy, he’s testing me, and I’m not going to shy away from that. I don’t know why ‘O’ — ‘O’ knows that. But I just saw him coming,” Gibson humorously recounted. “But things like that are going to happen. I respect him for even jumping because a lot of big men late in the game wouldn’t do that. That just shows that he’s really in for his team, and I would have done the same thing if I was him."
Asik, who played his first two NBA seasons in Chicago, stopped by the Bulls’ locker room postgame, so there were obviously no hard feelings.
“He’s dunked on me a bunch of times (in Bulls’ scrimmages). I caught him a bunch of times. But it just feels good to catch him in a real game,” Gibson said. “I just ran down the court, but Joakim (Noah) and Carlos (Boozer) were telling him, ‘Hold that.’ So he already knew what that meant.”
While Gibson might have taken his highlight in stride, his teammates didn’t.
“Oh, that was great, man. That got me so hype, man, and I love big ‘O,’” Carlos Boozer said. “So I told big ‘O’ to, ‘Hold that,’ and he just smiled. Taj gets somebody every game, it seems.”
All-Star center Joakim Noah declined to rub it in, saying, “Come on, man. Omer’s my guy. I’m going to let him live.”