Mary Schmitt-Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer posted a piece yesterday about the metamorphosis of Daniel Gibson. She made several observations about his growth as both a leader and a basketball player in the Cavaliers franchise.
He is a fan-favorite throughout the city and, unlike others, has remained loyal throughout his entire NBA career. Though he admits to Schmitt-Boyer in her interview with him that he contemplated getting out last year so that he would be given another chance to play, Gibson has always wanted to remain in Ohio for the entirety of his tenure.
Back in July, Gibson wrote a letter directly addressing the Cavalier faithful that said:
As you know i was born and raised in Houston, TX. Never once stayed outside the state for more than two weeks and the time I did, that was for basketball. But after two years of college at the University of Texas I decided to make the jump. You can just imagine how fast my mind was racing going to a city so many miles out of my comfort zone not knowing one single person. But I thank God it was Cleveland! Because From day one the city embraced me and made me feel like I was home. My Second HOME. And as time went on I began to see why we connected. Cleveland is a never die city, city of loyalty, hard-workers, passion, desire, and toughness. A lot of the same characteristics I have in me and that inspired me. So I made a promise to myself that every day I stepped foot on that basketball court I would show the world what Cleveland was all about. Leaving everything i had on the court. So no matter what obstacle was placed in front of me, I would bust right through it. No matter how high, I would get over it. Or how wide I would get around it. N I hope I did that and will continue to do that. I said that to say, I know right now emotions are high, and people are confused about the way things went down. But I’m here to say DO NOT FORGET THAT WE STILL HERE. and WE GONE GRIND!!!! The Cavaliers haven’t went anywhere, just lost a piece. Everything in life happens for a reason, Some which we dont understand and never will. Something’s we can’t control, But the thing we can control is our passion and our love for city of Cleveland and state of OHIO. And that every single night we take that we floor We Will represent. Blood SweAT and Tears. We will go hard. Just like you. From the bottom to the top, this organization is committed to winning and we won’t stop now….. Can’t stop now. I LOVE you. We Love YOU. And together We gone make it HAppen. O H I O. Hang in there.
Hang on one second. I need to grab a tissue. That nearly makes me cry every time I read it.
It was at this moment that Daniel Gibson took control of the Cleveland Cavaliers. As one of the longest tenured players in the franchise today, Gibson knew that this was his team. If he did not step up, the team was going to falter.
It has become increasingly obvious through the first nine games of this season that Daniel Gibson has taken it upon himself to run the show for Byron Scott. He is pointing younger, less-experienced players in the right direction and rallying the troops as he sees fit.
Gibson has yet to start a game under Scott’s system but is frequently called on to play the entire fourth quarter. He is averaging 13.7 points, third on the team, and has been a crucial part in each of the Cavaliers’ victories.
Unfortunately, there is a large number of Cavaliers fans that voiced their opposing opinion with Schmitt-Boyer’s piece. One “fan” in particular said, “I can judge his talents and lack thereof. Extremely poor defender, a poor passer, a poor dribbler, a poor shooter inside the arc, a relatively low basketball IQ slightly above Drew Gooden and J.J. Hickson. He’s not a shooting guard, he’s not a point guard. He’s good only at one thing, catch and shoot a three-pointer. But he’s made doing some things fun for me again, like what I used to do with Damon Jones. I record the games on my DVR and amuse myself by focusing strictly on Gibson and nobody else. He loiters around the three-point line on offense, and is an embarrassment on defense. If they’re hyping this guy as some kind of a leader, then just put on the French uniforms and surrender now. They’ve gotta look better than those JV high school uniforms they’re wearing these days.”
First of all, I just so happen to be a big fan of their new uniform set. I think it is classy.
And, more importantly, I can’t seem to wrap my head around where all of these complaints are coming from. In the past, Daniel Gibson has been a poor defender. He was never able to create for teammates and, if he wasn’t hitting three-pointers, he was useless to the team.
But that was in the past.
Gibson has worked hard for the last few years and greatly improved his all-around game. He is the leader of this team. He continues to knock down crucial three-point attempts but has also made a vast improvement in setting up his teammates. As the season progresses, Daniel Gibson is only going to get better. He will make true on his promise to represent the city of Cleveland, the state of Ohio and the Cavalier nation across the world.
Be easy Cavs fans. And enjoy tonight’s stoot-slappin’ of former Ohio State great, Evan Turner, and the 76ers as the Cavaliers get back on track with a win.