Taj Gibson relieved that NBA didn’t issue suspension
BY HERB GOULD firstname.lastname@example.org May 10, 2013 11:42PM
Bulls guard Nate Robinson drives to the basket in the second quarter of the Chicago Bulls-Miami Heat game three of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinal game May 10, 2013 at the United Center. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: June 13, 2013 7:09PM
Taj Gibson had no complaint with the $25,000 fine he received from NBA officials on Friday after being ejected from Game 2 on Wednesday.
‘‘I was just hoping it wasn’t going to be a suspension,’’ Gibson said. ‘‘But I deserved the fine.’’
Gibson and Joakim Noah were ejected with 10:13 left in the Bulls’ 115-78 loss to the Miami Heat, the most lopsided playoff defeat in team history. Noah was not fined or suspended.
Gibson, who gave referee Scott Foster an earful, was fined ‘‘for verbal abuse of a game official,’’ a league statement said.
Gibson said he didn’t try to spin his way out of anything when he spoke to league officials.
‘‘I kept it straight truth,’’ he said. ‘‘I told them I overreacted and I could have handled it better, but the whole thing was mostly about how long I was on the court. They understood that I never really have any negative problems with the officials. I told them it was just frustration, but I took the blame.’’
Hinrich, Deng out
Kirk Hinrich (bruised left calf) and Luol Deng (illness related to spinal tap) again were unavailable.
While it appears that Deng won’t be game-ready anytime soon, coach Tom Thibodeau held out hope that Hinrich could return for Game 4 on Monday.
“We’re hopeful,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘He is improving. So that’s a good sign.’’
Thibodeau, taking questions before the Game 3 tipoff, steered clear of hinting that the Bulls and the Heat did not receive equal protection from the officials in Game 2.
‘‘You can’t get wrapped up in the wrong stuff,’’ he said. ‘‘We know what we have to do. We know what happened in that game. We have to handle it better. In Game 1, we imposed our will. In Game 2, they imposed their will. We can’t get wrapped up with the officials. We have to be ready to roll.’’
Nazr Mohammed didn’t heed the message. He was ejected with 8:51 left in the second quarter for shoving LeBron James to the hardwood. James had pushed away when Mohammed virtually wrapped him up at midcourt.
Rumors and speculation that Derrick Rose might return keep cropping up. But there’s no substance to them, sources say.
And the Bulls aren’t paying attention to that stuff.
‘‘We knew there was a possibility of him missing the entire season,’’ Thibodeau said. “Let Derrick handle his rehab, and hopefully at some point, whether it’s next week or next year, he’ll rejoin us. We have to get it done with what we have. And we have more than enough to win.’’