After being selected 42nd overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2006, Daniel “Boobie” Gibson played seven up and down seasons for the team. On Monday, he turned himself in to the New Orleans Police Department to face a second degree battery charge. It was a long shot already for Gibson to return to the team next season but this run in with the law essentially makes it a formality. Gibson, who played his college ball at the University of Texas, rode front seat on the rollercoaster ride that was the Cavaliers the past few seasons. Last year, he was one of two players (along with Anderson Varejao) on the team who remained from the glory days with LeBron James. And Gibson was one of three players who remained from the dismal season of 2010-11, when the team won just 19 games. Let’s take a look back at Gibson’s eventful tenure with the Wine and Gold:
Rookie year, 2006-07.
In his first season, Boobie played an average of 16.5 minutes a game while scoring 4.6 points per game. He flashed signs of where his real impact would be throughout the year, which was shooting the deep ball. Gibson shot nearly 42 percent from downtown, leading newcomers that season. Primarily, Gibson came off the bench but Head Coach Mike Brown did start the rookie 16 times. His scoring nearly doubled when he was in the starting five and his field goal percentage blossomed to over 50 percent. The Cavs made its first trip to the Finals in franchise history that year and Gibson played a pivotal role in getting them there. In the postseason, Gibson saw the court more often and made the most of it, by scoring 8.3 points per game and shooting north of 40 percent from three. He tallied a total of six double figure games in the final two postseason series, more than half the amount he had all regular season. In the conference finals, the team fell down 2-0 against the Detroit Pistons. Gibson was huge in turning the tides of the series by knocking down two clutch threes as the Cavs took game three. Then in the following three crucial games, he poured in three double-digit games, including 21 and 31 in games four and six respectively. In game five, he went 12-12 from the charity stripe and picked up two steals as well. In game six, in the midst of pouring in his career high, Gibson also went 5-5 from deep and 10-12 from the free throw line. Of those 31 points, 19 of them came in the fourth quarter sealing the win for the Wine and Gold. In the Finals, against the San Antonio Spurs, the team was swept. But throughout the four games, Gibson’s performance was impressive, although not enough to keep the Spurs from winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy. In the four Finals games, he averaged 10.8 points, 2.5 assists and shot 44 percent from the field. The rookie was able to be one of the few bright spots during the series and appeared poised for an even better sophomore campaign.
Second Season, 2007-08
Gibson saw his minutes increased substantially at the beginning of the season. In the first game of the year against Dallas, he logged over 30 minutes. For the entire season, he averaged 30.6 minutes per game. As a rookie, he only played more than 30 minutes six times. As the court time allocated to him grew, so did his production. He netted 44 percent of his three point field goal attempts, a clear improvement from his rookie season and also good enough to put him fifth in the league for three point percentage. In just the third game of the campaign, Boobie buried six three pointers, his career high. Then just over a month later, he set his career high for assists in a game against the Washington Wizards with eight. Due to an impressive first half of the year, Gibson was selected to be a part of the Rookie Challenge Game during All-Star Weekend in New Orleans as well as the Three-Point Shootout. In the first half of the game while competing on the sophomore team, Gibson tied the record for most threes made in the game, with seven. Then in the second half, he sank four more to set the record for most threes in the Rookie Challenge with 11. As expected, he won the game’s MVP and finished with 33 points to go along with four boards and two helpers. His weekend did not stop there either. The following night, Gibson placed second in the Three-Point Shout behind defending champion, Jason Kapono. He tallied 17 points in both the semifinal and final rounds of the contest. The Cavaliers needed Gibson to carry the momentum he created during the All-Star festivities to carry into the second half of the season. Unfortunately, in early February, an ankle injury derailed Boobie from keeping it. He was then sidelined for 18 games during a crucial period of the season. When Gibson returned to action late Match, he struggled to get into a groove. From his return to the end of the regular season, he shot a dismal 24 percent from the field. Just like the Wine and Gold needed, the young Gibson found his early season form as the first round of the postseason began. He started shooting the ball with better results and also stepped up in the assist column as well. In game six against the Washington Wizard, Gibson poured in 22 points and made four three pointers, helping the Cavaliers eliminate the Wizards for a second straight postseason. In the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics, Gibson injured his shoulder in the fourth game of the series and had to wear a suit and tie for the final two games of the series. The Wine and Gold were eliminated in seven games. Gibson still says that he wonders what could have been if he suited up for the decisive game. The Celtics gutted out a five point victory. Questions persist about Boobie’s possible impact and if he could have been enough to propel the team over the Celtics.
Third Season, 2008-09.
Heading into his third season with the team, the Cavaliers rewarded the young guard with a new contract. The deal was for five years and 21 million dollars. The team reaped huge success throughout the year, winning 66 games and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals. Although his numbers dipped a little bit compared to the previous season, Gibson still played an instrumental role in the team’s success. He proved to have cemented his niche on the team as a player who could come off the bench and stretch the floor with his shooting ability. He never filled up the assist column and was an average defender. But his ability to consistently knock down threes from all areas on the court made him valuable. On November 26, Gibson scored his 1,000th career point against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He missed five games with an injury during the beginning of December but that was the only time all season that he missed a large sum of consecutive games. The 75 games he played in 2008-09 season is still his career for GP in a single season. Gibson’ season high in points scored came in the regular season finale against the Philadelphia 76ers. He scored 28 points, one of three 20+ games during the season, netted four threes, and had his season high for assists too, with seven. The team ended up losing the game but had clinched a playoff berth before anyways. In the postseason, Gibson saw his minutes noticeably decline and as a result, his production and impact did too. He averaged 12.3 minutes per game, 3.4 points per game and shot 33 percent from the field. His only real court time came in the final three games of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Orlando Magic. He had made three deep balls in game five and scored 11 points, helping the Wine and Gold hold off the Magic for one more chance. The Cavaliers eventually would lose in six games.
Stay tuned as a review of the next four seasons in Daniel Gibson’s career will be coming shortly.