On May 26, 2011, the Chicago Bulls fell lớn the Miami Heat in trò chơi 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, ending that season"s title bid. The defeat that was supposed to signal the beginning of a years-long rivalry, but instead represented the high water mark of that era of Bulls basketball.

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So there was something poetic in the fact that three of that era"s most notorious protagonists — Derriông xã Rose, Tom Thibodeau and Taj Gibson — were front & center for a playoff triumph precisely one decade later.

Somewhat tragically so, though, the three did it in the blue & orange of the Thành Phố New York Knicks & in front of 16,254 rabid fans at Madison Square Garden, not in the Bulls" red và blaông xã while rocking the Madhouse on Madison. The Knicks" 101-92 win over the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday night marked their first playoff victory since 2013.

In the game, Rose logged 39 minutes, notching 26 points and four assists. Gibson tallied six points, seven rebounds, three steals và a block while registering a game-high +23 plus-minus. Both played closing minutes as Thibodeau presided over all.

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And after the game, Gibson, a Brooklyn native, gave sầu an emotion-packed answer lớn a question asking what getting the win alongside Rose & Thibodeau meant to hyên ổn. The three have sầu shared allegiance at three stops in Chicago, Minnesota and now Thủ đô New York.

"To be honest with you I really can"t (put the meaning inkhổng lồ words). It"s so surreal," Gibson said. "When I talk khổng lồ the young guys who wake up & they may not know where their path is gonmãng cầu lead them or where the game is gonna take them: Just trust your heart. Don"t worry about what nobody is gonna say.

"Because I sat years ago, as a rookie, or my second year — maybe my second year — I sat every day with Thibs after practice và we talked about the Knicks, we talked about the battles, we talked about how great it would be to lớn play there one day. And then for it to come true, và then I"m playing with Derrichồng, who I"ve sầu been playing with my whole career? And we have sầu the same familiar faces, but now we"re in Thành Phố New York City? God doesn"t make any mistakes, man. You just gotta follow your path. You just gotta believe in yourself. Stay the course.

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"The course is always gonmãng cầu be rocky. But you just gotta stay the course and believe in yourself & truly believe sầu, man. Because this is some magical stuff right now, I don"t know how khổng lồ explain it, it"s just every day I come in, it"s just — I don"t take anything for granted. But every day that I come in it"s just surreal, and you"ve gotta pinch yourself because you"re playing in the Garden. It"s one of the toughest places to play, but it"s one of the beautifulest places khổng lồ play when you (on the) right (team). And we"re trying lớn bởi vì some special things here and right now we"re laying the groundwork for it & it"s an awesome feeling."

An emotional Taj Gibson on winning a playoff game with Tom Thibodeau & Derrichồng Rose after all they"ve been through:"This is some magical stuff right now. I don"t know how to lớn explain it. I don"t take anything for granted, but every day I come in, it"s just surreal."

— Knicks Videos (
sny_knicks) May 27, 2021

The Knicks" gutsy comebaông xã win leveled their first-round series with the Hawks đơn. Now, the two sides head to lớn Atlanta for trò chơi 3.