Gibson tells his side of the story after rare ejection


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 "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.

Today on CSN: White Sox face Athletics in spring training game

Today on CSN: White Sox face Athletics in spring training game

The White Sox will battle the Oakland Athletics today, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins at 3:05 p.m.

Today's starting pitching matchup: Carlos Rodon vs. Kendall Graveman

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Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Stars: Another slow start but better finish

Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Stars: Another slow start but better finish

It wasn't pretty, but the Blackhawks found a way to pick up another two points and improved to 6-0-1 over their last seven games, and 18-3-1 over their last 22.

With Minnesota's loss to Philadelphia, the Blackhawks have taken an eight-point lead for first in the Central Division and are only two points away from the Washington Capitals for home-ice advantage throughout the entire Stanley Cup playoffs.

Let's take a look at Quick Hits from the 3-2 shootout victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night:

What Worked: The finish and shootout. While the Blackhawks scored the game's first goal, it was another slow start by a team that has had a few of those over the last several outings and has preached working on turning in more of a complete effort. They recorded only 14 shots on goal in the first two periods, and it took more than six minutes after Patrick Kane's goal to record their next one.

But they finished on a positive note yet again, and went 2-for-3 in the shootout thanks to Kane and Artemi Panarin, who potted the game winner. Kane said after the game that he tried his move on Scott Darling during morning skate and it worked. So he went with it tonight in an effort to snap a mini shootout drought and he did.

What Didn't Work: Controlling the puck. The Blackhawks seemingly have the puck more than their opponent does almost every game, but it doesn't reflect in the shot department because they often look for the perfect pass or shot and fail to record one at all. They had 50 shot attempts with 26 of them on goal compared to the Stars' 64 attempts with 44 on goal. They know they must get better at that.

Star of the game: Corey Crawford. After allowing four goals on only 10 shots in Tuesday's overtime loss to Vancouver, the Blackhawks netminder bounced back in a huge way. He matched a season-high with 42 saves, and recorded his 30th win of the season.

He Said It: "He played amazing tonight. Reason we won the game. Hats off to him, he's done that a lot this year. For a goalie it's probably tough to show up every night, even the goals he let in last game you can't put all the blame on him, but he was outstanding tonight." — Kane on Crawford's performance

By the Numbers:

167 — Niklas Hjalmarsson blocked one shot in the win, and it was enough to set a new career high in that department, previously established during the 2010-11 campaign (166).

15 — Trevor van Riemsyk assisted on Marian Hossa's goal in the third period, giving him a career-high 15 points on the season in 50 games. He had 14 points in 82 games last year. He also extended his point streak to three games.

6 — With the victory, Crawford has earned at least 30 wins in six of his seven NHL seasons as a full-time starter. The only time he didn't reach that mark was during the lockout-shortened year in 2012-13 when he went 19-5-5.