Taj Gibson, on a New York City subway, learned how ‘gangster’ Mike Dunleavy is


Taj Gibson grew up in Brooklyn and attended USC.

Mike Dunleavy graduated from a college-prep school in Oregon and attended Duke.

They didn’t exactly have the same upbringings, but the Bulls teammates formed a bond years ago. On the New York City subway. Late at night. Once Dunleavy was already in the NBA.

Gibson on Dunleavy, via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

“He takes hard fouls on guys,” Gibson said. “I love that about him. He’s not afraid.”

Gibson’s opinion of Dunleavy the person had been formed positively by an anecdote Gibson hilariously shared earlier this season. A high school-aged Gibson ran into Dunleavy riding the New York subway alone at night. Gibson said Dunleavy, already in the NBA, gave him a head nod.

“You don’t really see NBA players on the train, especially at night,” Gibson said in early January. “That’s how gangster he was.”

First, I need to hear Dunleavy’s version of this story. Does he remember this? Where was he going? What did he think of Gibson, presumably a really tall kid?

Second of all, the perception of Dunleavy as a finesse player should probably change. He’s tangled with Tyler Hansbrough and DeMarcus Cousins and come back for more.

Gangster indeed.