Knicks’ Taj Gibson enjoying mentor role with Mitchell Robinson
Taj Gibson of the New York Knicks was signed as part of a bizarre offseason in which the team nabbed multiple veterans and no big names. Despite that, Gibson has provided veteran savvy and solid, mistake-free basketball for the Knicks, which has been a big influence on the team’s young core, which includes R.J. Barrett, Frank Ntilikina and 21-year-old big man Mitchell Robinson.
According to a New York Post story by Marc Berman, one of Gibson’s main functions on the team is as a mentor to Robinson, who is a clearly brilliant young player for the team going forward.
“I work out with him every day,’’ Gibson said in Berman’s story. “Me and him go on the court and work out together, shoot foul shots together. I’m just trying to get him better. He works hard. He listens to me and understands what he needs to work on. Every day we challenge each other. I try to make him understand the game and learn. Because right now he’s just so talented, he’s just playing off pure talent.”
That hard work is seemingly paying off, as Robinson is leading the entire NBA in field goal percentage, two-point field goal percentage and effective field goal percentage: Robinson clocks in with a lofty 71.9 percent in each category.
Despite that, Robinson is actually playing less minutes this year than he did last year, which is a curious decision by Head Coach David Fizdale to say the least.
Still, according to Berman’s story, Robinson still has much to show: “Every day he learns and comes in with new dose of energy and his game develops every day we’re out there,’’ Gibson said in the story. “He shocks me every day. He’s grown and understands the seriousness of the game now. He’s not just going out there playing.”