Taj Gibson
AP Photo

Taj Gibson plays for the New York Knicks, not the Brooklyn Nets, but that didn’t stop his hometown from honoring the forward.

Taj Gibson is one of the newest New York Knicks after signing a two-year deal this summer. The Brooklyn native has a close connection with his hometown and he was given a special honor on Saturday.

According to News 12, Gibson was hosting a back-to-school basketball tournament for kids in his native Fort Greene neighborhood. Free haircuts and 300 free backpacks were given to students at the event.

The last time Gibson played a basketball season in New York City came during his freshman year of high school.

He played three years of high school ball in California before going to the University of Southern California. NBA stops with the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Minnesota Timberwolves preceded his move to the Knicks.

During his 10-year career, Gibson has per-game averages of 10.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. He’s more of a rugged power forward that goes against the current trend of using a stretch four. He only has 22 made threes in his career.

That being said, he can play center in some small-ball lineups when necessary. It’s hard to see the Knicks using him in that role except in a pinch. Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle, and Bobby Portis should all see more time at center.

Although Gibson is part of a crowded frontcourt, his veteran presence and defensive intangibles can play on any roster. Better yet, Gibson and Robinson could make for a lockdown defensive frontcourt.

It’s unclear how much Gibson will play this season, but there’s no doubt that head coach David Fizdale will feel comfortable calling the veteran’s number.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.