Newly signed veteran center Taj Gibson has an optimistic outlook for the Washington Wizards

The Washington Wizards filled their 15th spot on their current 2022-23 roster with veteran big man Taj Gibson on a minimum contract. The 37-year-old brings valuable experience and mentorship to a relatively young roster that Washington hopes will translate to winning on the basketball court, which has largely avoided them for the past five seasons. Although the Wizards did not swing big (and maybe rightfully so if the asking price was simply too high) for a Jaden Ivey or Dejounte Murray type addition, Gibson oozed optimism in his introductory availability with local media. “I seen they got a young talented team, it’s a sleeper team, and I just want to be part of something special,” Gibson said that best summarized his 18 minute media availability.

On choosing to join the Wizards:
“They have a lot of talent. Understanding this is still a young team trying to figure out how to win games. I felt there was a good opportunity to go around some young guys that are talented and have a chance to actually do something in this league. Great coaching staff, great organization, it was a no brainer for me.”

On what role he expects for himself this season:
“My role at this stage in my career is always stay ready, but at the same time be a great teammate, mentor. I’m just a team first guy. I put the team first and I’m really unselfish. I’m looking forward to just getting around the guys and trying to give forth whatever I can to help the team be successful to win.”

On new center teammates Kristaps Porzingis and Daniel Gafford:
“I know those two very well because I play in the NBA. Not only that, but I’m a fan of the game. I’m a fan of watching players develop, I’m a fan of going against players. Porzingis is a talent. Gafford is a super young, athletic talent since I’ve been watching since Arkansas. I’m not trying to tweak anything, I’m just coming to give that support and try and help them any way that I can.”

On possibly continuing community work in DC:
“My philanthropy work won’t stop wherever I go. I’m going to try and be in the community, try and go give back, try to help kids, try to meet the council people. DC is a great networking source of just building up the community. Take my talents to DC and continue the passion I’ve been having the last 14 odd years.”

On Bradley Beal:
“I’ve been going up against Brad for a long time, especially when they eliminated us back in the [2015] playoffs years ago. I was always a fan and he’s just a great guy. First things first, he’s a great guy. Before his talents, he’s a great guy, super competitive. His game has grown so much over the years. He’s just a talent, you can’t teach that. You name it, he can do it. It’s all about trying to fit in with him, fit in with the guys and try to add whatever you can to help the situation. He’s going to give you a lot of buckets on a consistent basis.”

On his outlook for the Wizards this season:
“From my perspective, the group is really good. There’s a lot of [past] games blown, but at the same time, they were super competitive throughout the whole year and for the last couple years. Everybody the team acquired this summer [Monte Morris, Will Barton, Delon Wright, Johnny Davis] is a dog, is hungry, counted against, and they’re looking for the right opportunity and the right place. It all comes down to guys getting together, guys understanding what we have to do to come together and win. The main objective is to win. As soon as I signed on, my phone just got a whole lot of text messages from the whole team. Locking in, Kuz[ma] texted me. That’s the kind of stuff you want to be a part of and it’s only the beginning, but training camp is the main source. I’m looking forward to getting with the guys next month for a little [pre-]training camp in probably LA. It’s all about bonding right now., coming together quickly as a group, especially in the NBA.”