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Cleveland Cavaliers Free Agency: The Return of Mike Brown Won’t Save Fan Favorite Daniel Gibson
By Bob Evans
In a city with so few long-term tenured players, it is tough for the city of Cleveland to say goodbye to athletes that spend more than four seasons with one of their professional sports teams. After the Browns recently parted ways with the likes of Phil Dawson and Josh Cribbs, it looks like the Cavaliers will part ways with seven-year veteran Daniel “Boobie” Gibson once he hits free agency in the summer of 2013.
Gibson will forever be known for his charitable contributions, excellent community presence and of course his unreal performance in the clinching game six of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals as a rookie. In the epic performance which not only stole the hearts of Cavaliers fans but also coined the phrase “Shoot it Boobie, Shoot it”, Gibson poured in a performance worthy of video game status. He finished off the Pistons with a 31-point performance, including going 5-of-5 from three-point land in just 29 minutes.
Unfortunately for Gibson and Cavaliers’ fans, the performance which earned him a contract extension would never again be duplicated. As the man many thought would develop into a running mate for superstar LeBron James would fade into an injury-prone role player whose three-point percentage has been on a severe decline since the 2009-2010 season.
After shooting the lights out from long distance in new head coach Mike Brown’s final season (47.7 percent), Gibson’s average has fallen to 40 percent, 35.1 percent and a dismal 34 percent in 2012-2013—the lowest of his NBA career. Add in the fact that he has played in just 148 of a possible 230 games in the last three seasons, and the writing is pretty much on the wall for Gibson’s playing days with the wine and gold to be over.
When first composing this article, the thought of Gibson returning to his sharp-shooting, intelligent defending self under his old coach popped into my head. A 27-year old who has proven the ability to be a valuable contributor off the bench should have a role on a rebuilding team like the Cavaliers—but Gibson doesn’t.
Missing 161 games in a seven-year career would be tolerable if, when healthy, Gibson was contributing at a high level. But his highest season scoring average (11.6 points per game) came in the team’s dismal 2010-2011 season; as Gibson has failed to remain healthy and capitalize when the team needed him to step up most the past three seasons. If Gibson cannot step up and be a major part of a rebuilding team in the prime of his career, what makes anyone think he is worthy of yet another multi-year contract from this organization?
It will be tough to say goodbye to Daniel Gibson the person, but very easy to watch his nearly $5 million in wasted salary leave the books—opening up salary cap flexibility for general manager Chris Grant.
With the likes of Dion Waiters, Wayne Ellington and Alonzo Gee manning the shooting guard position next season (yes I put Gee in there because the Cavaliers WILL get a starting small forward), there is just no room on the roster for an undersized, underperforming player like Gibson anymore. And as much as we want to hold on to the glory days of old, it is time to look forward to the promising days ahead.
Unfortunately for those fans who like to hold onto the players who didn’t leave when times got tough, those promising days ahead will not likely include their fan-favorite known as “Boobie”.
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