Brooklyn native Taj Gibson has come back home this summer after signing with the New York Knicks. While they missed out on the chance to land big players like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who were top Knicks targets, their crosstown neighbors Brooklyn Nets saw their chance and took it, landing the pair of stars at the beginning of free agency.
The Nets are set to contend in the East next season, and even more the one after that, when KD makes his return from a ruptured Achilles. The Knicks, on the other hand, are seeing as an 8th seed as best. One could say that New York is a Nets town right now after all these changes, but Gibson doesn’t think things are like that. In fact, he still thinks that the Big Apple is going to be ‘Knicks town’ always.
The former Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves player told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News that it is impossible to replace the Knicks and Madison Square Garden as the “Mecca” of basketball:
“It’s always going to be a Knicks town. That’s all we grew up on,” Gibson told the Daily News. “What the Nets are doing is great, don’t get me wrong. That’s amazing. But I grew up a Knicks fan. I grew up watching John Starks. Times have changed. But New York is always — you see behind you, they have Knicks hats on.”
The veteran forward signed a two-year, $20 million deal this summer, and he will look to bring his experience to a young group of players looking to develop their game and see if they can compete for something during the 2019/20 season.
It’s hard to agree with Gibson on his claims, as there are Knicks fans tired of the team not making the moves they need to improve; perhaps this upcoming season a lot of fans will turn their heads to the Nets, who are set to become a real threat in the Eastern Conference.