On this date in Chicago Bulls history, Taj Gibson threw down a massive dunk on the Miami Heat. Let’s relive the epic moment.
The 2010-2011 Chicago Bulls team was absolutely electric. Tom Thibodeau coached the young team up, leading them to a league-best 62-20 record in his first season as the Bulls’ head coach. Derrick Rose cemented himself as one of the league’s biggest forces, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to win the MVP award. The only thing that Bulls team couldn’t do was get past a LeBron James led Miami Heat squad in the Eastern Conference Finals.
We know how that series went down. The Bulls won Game 1 and then lost the next four contests. Even though that series is full of disappointments and what-ifs, there’s still one awesome highlight Bulls fans can look back on.
The sequence starts with the Bulls’ defense forcing Mario Chalmers into a turnover. Luol Deng then corrals the loose ball and immediately gets it up to C.J. Watson, who took one dribble towards the hoop before dishing it off to a trailing Gibson.
Gibson then leaps up into the air, holding the ball straight above his head with both hands, and soars right through Dwyane Wade.
My favorite part of this dunk is actually what comes after the dunk. Gibson’s reaction to his own wizardry is amazing. He hangs on the rim for a brief moment, then lands and sort of just walks it off. He doesn’t celebrate immediately. But then, after a few steps, he lets out a massive roar and flex. It looks like it almost took Taj a few moments to realize what he just did. It’s beautiful.
The dunk also led to Reggie Miller shouting this legendary line:
"“It is the Eastern Conference Finals, and you expect to see plays like this at the rim, but not from Taj Gibson!” -Reggie Miller"
In one replay of the dunk, you see Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose on the bench, both seemingly in disbelief of what they just witnessed.
As awesome as it is to relive this moment, it’s also really sad. I miss the days of C.J. Watson, Taj Gibson, Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. It’s even fun to see Ronnie Brewer running the break! Those were better times for Bulls fans.