Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson was booted out of Game 5 early in the fourth quarter Tuesday night after it appeared that he kicked Matthew Dellavedova.
Dellavedova sneakily pulled off a wrestling move and locked Gibson’s legs as he tried to get up from underneath the hoop, and Taj was less than amused.
The kick!!!! https://t.co/xunw1cQ9yQ
— Brady Phelps (@LobShots) May 13, 2015
— vineydelnegro (@vineydelnegro) May 13, 2015
Gibson, who called Cavs fans “classless” after they threw objects at him as he left the court, claims that he did not kick the Cleveland Cavaliers guard.
Per the Chicago Tribune and Akron Beacon Journal:
“I was trying to box him out and he pushed me in the back and then we got tangled up,” Dellavedova said after the Cavaliers’ 106-101 victory in Game 5. “I don’t really know (what happened).” […] Asked specifically if he had locked up Gibson’s leg, the Australian-born guard replied: “I haven’t seen (the replay). I was just trying to get up.”
Gibson got ejected after appearing to kick Dellavedova — or perhaps he was just trying to get free — and for shoving Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith in the neck. […] “That was a dirty play,” Smith said of Gibson’s attempt to grab the offensive rebound, sending Dellavedova to the floor. “He’s five inches taller than (Dellavedova). I know a little thing about dirty plays. And then the kicking … there are some things you just don’t do.”
Gibson’s kick looked more malicious live than on replay. Even (LeBron) James said (Mike) Dunleavy “kicked his ass.” But replay clearly shows Gibson only kicked Dellavedova’s shoe while trying to shake free. […] “I didn’t kick him at all. He just leg-locked me,” Gibson said. “I pulled my leg back and it looked like I kicked him from the force that I was using to pull my leg out. So now I have to deal with the consequences, but I didn’t kick him at all.”