Mitchell Robinson found out about the Knicks’ latest roster change Thursday night while browsing social media and was instantly thrilled.
The Knicks are happy to welcome Taj Gibson back into the group for the depth of the forecourt and another veteran presence but no one is happier than Robinson, who mentored the seasoned tall man on and off the pitch when they were teammates last season.
« It’s just amazing. I saw it on Instagram. I thought: We have TG back! « Robinson said on a Zoom call before Friday’s game against Donner. » This is my type. I can’t wait to see him again.
“I learned a lot from Taj last year. I’m pretty sure he worked over the summer. I can’t wait for him to come in and show me some new [things] so that I can learn and grow as a player. «
The 6-foot-9 Gibson, whose $ 10 million option was turned down by the Knicks in November, signed Thursday night despite not being with the team for the game due to COVID-19 protocols The Knicks dropped Omari Spellman to create the roster seat.
Robinson, 22, who set an NBA record with a field goal percentage of 74.2 last season had a career high of 41 minutes in Wednesday’s comeback win against Jazz – the Knicks’ fifth win in six games.
The 7-foot center has been largely out of nasty trouble during its third NBA campaign so far held out, but the Knicks were still few and far between in recent games as substitute center Nerlens Noel, Spellman and rookie striker Obi Toppin were injured.
Gibson, 34, will deliver another great body and with head coach Tom Thibodeau trusts him in, for whom he played with the Bulls and Timberwolves.
« He’s been in the league for a minute with Taj so he knows the ropes, » said Robinson. “When he comes back, I can learn more. I learned a lot from him last year and will continue to do so. It’s great.
« Now that we’ve got Taj back, Nerlens, he’ll come back to us one day. … I think if I only have two it will relieve me. I can submit and have a little more energy So I can go out there and keep playing hard. «
Robinson only committed two personal fouls on Wednesday because of his heavy workload against Jazz. He never fouled or in any of his first eight appearances (all starts) More than four fouls whistled.
« I think it’s the coaches, » said Robinson. « Who really wants to sit outside that much? I’m trying to find a way to limit the fouls. I only had two last ones Games. I was very proud of myself. I’ll try to keep working and not get fouled. «
Thibodeau also advocated Gibson’s return, although their third stay together won’t begin until the 12-year-old NBA vet the COVID logs are likely to come early in the day approved the week.
« I think his career speaks for itself and obviously he embodies all the things we believe in, » said Thibodeau. « He’s been out and about quite a lot this summer, even though he wasn’t signed.
» Just his conditioning, his leadership, his ability to play who he is as a person. We’re thrilled to have him back with us. It is invaluable to have that type of leadership, a great teammate, team first guy, hardworking and always ready. Whatever you ask of him. You can start him, you can get him off the bench. Or you can just keep him waiting for an opportunity and he handles it all great. I think when he talked to people from last year he had a very positive impact on Mitch and the rest of his teammates. I know where always he was, that was the case. «
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