Taj Gibson Says Elbow to Elton Brand’s Face Wasn’t Intentional

by May 09, 2012

Taj Gibson pleaded innocent when asked about his mini-scrap with Elton Brand last night, and shot down the suggestion that he might face a suspension from the NBA for the elbow he planted on Brand’s mug. Per the Chicago Tribune: “After they hit the deck fighting for a loose ball near the Bulls bench, the two exchanged elbows and Gibson appeared to graze Brand’s jaw with a forearm. The officials used replay to review the incident, and both were assessed technical fouls. ‘I have a lot of respect for Elton Brand,’ he said. ‘I look up to him. It’s good for basketball, guys going hard for their team.’ There was talk that the league would consider suspending Gibson because of his blow to Brand’s face. ‘Suspended?’ Gibson said. ‘I didn’t intentionally try to elbow him. I was just trying to play hard for my team. I’m not worried about that. It was guys just being aggressive and going hard for their team. It’s playoff basketball.’ And no hard feelings. Said Gibson: ‘He looked at me and said, ‘Are you good?’ I said, ‘I’m fine.’ That’s it. Move on.’ Brand agreed, calling it ‘just a tussle.’ ‘I felt that I had an elbow to the face,’ Brand said. ‘Can’t allow that. But nothing dirty. After the play was over, it was over.'”