By Wade Foley
It was Game 6 of the 2007 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, and the Cleveland Cavaliers were looking to reach their first NBA Finals in franchise history. Fittingly, the team standing in their way was their rival Detroit Pistons. With one win more win separating the Cavs and the Finals, an unsung hero emerged. The No. 42 overall pick in that year’s draft, rookie Daniel “Boobie” Gibson exploded for 31 points (19 in the 4th quarter), six rebounds and two assists. He was 7-for-9 from the field and 5-for-5 from three-point land.
This is the memory that this writer would like to remember Gibson by as he leaves the Cavs for free agency.
Unfortunately, news broke Monday afternoon that Gibson had been arrested for second-degree battery in New Orleans. Gibson was in New Orleans to watch his wife, Keyshia Cole, perform at a music festival over the July 4th weekend. According to Jason Llyod of the Akron Beacon Journal, “Gibson is accused of punching a man around 5:15 a.m. on July 8 and subsequently breaking the man’s lower jaw bone.”
Gibson, for reasons unbeknownst to this writer, decided to call in to TMZ and use them as his outlet. He told TMZ that New Orleans police called him and asked him to turn himself in. He said that the guy at the festival disrespected his wife in a “profane way” and he felt he “needed to take action” when their “safety was threatened.”
Gibson wouldn’t elaborate on what the man said or did exactly, since everything is still “alleged,” but he also told TMZ, “I have nothing to be ashamed of or hide.” It’s been reported that the man’s jaw was broken, but it seems a lot is still unclear as to exactly what provoked Gibson.
After seven years in Cleveland and many great memories, it’s unfortunate to see Gibson depart this way. It’s highly unlikely the Cavs would have re-signed the free agent anyway due to his recent string of injuries and lack of production, but this just reinforces that.
Gibson only played in 81 games over the past two seasons, averaging just less than 6.5 points per game between them. As one of this writer’s former favorite players, it was already sad knowing that he no longer had a place on this team and was on his way out. This news and these allegations just solidify the downward spiral of his career.
This might sound a little overly dramatic for a player who has widely been regarded as a “good guy.” Don’t get me wrong, Gibson is a hard worker and can turn his career around if he can stay healthy and focus on basketball. There is no one that hopes this is the case more than this writer. But as of right now, it is questionable whether he’ll even be on a roster next season. It’d be surprising if no other team gave him any sort of offer (possibly his hometown Houston Rockets), but it remains to be seen just what exactly Gibson has left in him.
While there’s no doubt that Gibson’s last couple years in Cleveland and the news that broke this week has been sad to witness, this writer is going to try to remember the good times that “Boobie” brought to Cleveland. Some of those good times include:
Sinking 11 three-pointers in the 2008 Rookie-Sophomore game and nabbing the MVP award.
Averaging 18.8 points over his first five games after becoming a starter in the 2007 playoffs.
His game-winning three-pointer against the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2010.
Flashing the three-point monocle after splashing every three-pointer.
And of course, Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Detroit Pistons. The clutch performance that led the Cavs to their first ever NBA Finals appearance.
After showing love to Cleveland and representing the city for seven years, this is how Daniel “Boobie” Gibson should forever be remembered.
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