Taj Gibson still isn't exactly sure why he was tossed from the Bulls' 93-85 victory over the Knicks on Saturday night at the United Center.
The forward drew a double-technical late in the second quarter after arguing a loose-ball foul and official Derrick Stafford gave the fourth-year pro the heave-ho.
"I called him by his name (saying), 'Derrick, there were some tough calls early,' " Gibson said. "I just expressed my opinion. I said, 'you have to watch, it's real physical' and he just turned and T'd me up. I said, 'are you serious?' and he T'd me up again. Boom."
The fact the Bulls overcame the absence of Gibson to record their third consecutive victory helped ease the pain of the abrupt dismissal.
"He must have just felt I had an attitude," Gibson said. "I'm not even a guy who causes trouble. I ask questions the whole game. I smile. For me to get two (technicals), I was shocked. I was in the back like, 'did that really just happen?'"
Teammate Luol Deng said the game between the Eastern Conference rivals was physical from the early stages.
"It was one of those games early on--a lot of complaining and talking back and forth and the game got out of control," Deng said. "Taj lost his temper and then got thrown out. I talked to him afterward and said, 'if you play in the league long enough, you're going to get thrown out. Don't worry about it.' "
Gibson said from now on he'll stop being such an inquiring mind, leaving it up to coach Tom Thibodeau.
"I'm going to let 'Thibs' ask the questions for me," Gibson said.