Ex-Bull Taj Gibson weighs in on Derrick Rose jersey retirement debate

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Taj Gibson weighs in on D-Rose jersey retirement debate originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Should the Chicago Bulls retire Derrick Rose's jersey No. 1? Or, for that matter, Joakim Noah's No. 13?

It is a polarizing debate amongst Bulls fans, even if it is a far-off prospect for now, given the franchise has retired just four jersey numbers in its decorated history: Michael Jordan's No. 23, Scottie Pippen's No. 33, Jerry Sloan's No. 4 and Bob Love's No. 10 (although Rose's MVP stature and hometown flavor may give him an edge one day).

But talk to members of the the early-career Rose teams — the most celebrated era the post-dynasty Bulls have had — and it's a no-brainer.

"It would be awesome, well deserved. Both guys put the city on their back," former Bulls forward Taj Gibson, who was in town as a member of the Washington Wizards Wednesday night, told Mark Carman when asked what he would think of their jerseys hanging from the United Center rafters.

"Everybody who wore the jersey in that time frame put the city on their back. Those guys (Rose and Noah) deserve it, man."

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Gibson was drafted 26th overall by the Bulls in 2009 and remained with the franchise until being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2016-17 season. In that span, he was an integral member of two teams that amassed the East's best record and one that made an Eastern Conference finals before Rose's injuries derailed a window of championship contention.

To this day, Gibson is beloved by the fanbase, even after stints with the Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks and now Wizards. And to this day, the feeling is mutual.

"It was an awesome time in life. But what makes it even (more) special is the fans," Gibson told Carman. "You walk in the stadium, the people, the generations of kids growing up, their kids growing up, watching us play. That's what brings it all to reality."

With his 38th birthday approaching next June, Gibson's NBA days may be dwindling. But he did leave one carrot for Bulls fans hoping for a a feel-good reunion before he retires.

"I would love that, man. I would cry all day," Gibson said with a smile when posed the idea of one more stint in Chicago.

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