It’s been a difficult week for Wolves forward Taj Gibson. He lost an aunt who was close to him and had to travel to North Carolina for her funeral. And then, unbeknownst to him, he got caught up in some online speculation, where some folks tried to tie his missing Saturday’s loss in Phoenix to his having liked two Instagram posts critical of Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau.
“It’s crazy,’’ Gibson said Monday morning, after the team finished its shootaround before tonight’s rematch with the Sacramento Kings at Target Center. “I’m not really a social media kind of guy. I love my teammates. I love my coach. So those things don’t show for me at all. For people to believe that, it was just really disappointing. Just gotta move forward.’’
Gibson said he didn’t know how his Instagram account managed to like two posts critical of Thibs’ handling of the rotation at guard and didn’t even know it had happened until he started getting calls and messages. Even Thibodeau called, Gibson said.
“I was like, ‘Come on coach, you know my character better than that,'" Gibson said. “I’m not an analytic guy. I don’t look at things like that. I just love my teammates. ... I wasn’t even aware of my Instagram. I was worried about a funeral. I didn’t even watch the game. When I got the call, it was a little bit of disbelief. Things happen. It’s fake news. I love my teammates. I love Minnesota. I’m a straight-forward kind of guy.’’
The controversy made a difficult weekend that much tougher. Gibson said his aunt helped raise him. Gibson said it would be hard to jump back into basketball.
“It’s tough, but it’s the NBA,’’ he said. “You gotta bounce back. You gotta just take it one game at a time, overcome all the things you’re going through.’’
Here are some other items from this morning:
*Starting point guard Jeff Teague has been added to the injury report for tonight’s game. He’s questionable with left ankle soreness.
*Thibodeau said he expects his team to play better defense in its rematch with the Kings, who scored 141 points on the Wolves in a victory in Sacramento just five days ago.