Former USC Trojan star and Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson missed out on the 2014 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award to Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford.
Crawford took 57 first-place votes and 421 points to Gibson’s 49 and 395.
Coming off the bench for the Bulls, Gibson showed improved offensive production to go along with his already established defensive game. He averaged 13 points and 6.8 per game through the season.
In the playoffs, Gibson came alive, leading the Bulls with 18 points per game to go with 6.2 rebounds. He shot .561 percent from the field.
In a losing game four effort, Gibson scored a career-high 32 points with seven rebounds.
Such an effort points to signs that Gibson may not be eligible for the Sixth Man Award in 2015 as he parlays his best season as a pro into a more regular starting position next season.
Gibson played three seasons with the Trojans from 2006 to 2009. During that time, he helped win the Pac-10 Tournament in 2009.
He is USC’s all-time leader in career blocked shots and second all-time in career FG percentage, rebounds shot blocker and holds the single season record in blocks. He was the 2009 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-Pac-10 third team honors in 2008 and second team honors in 2009. In his first season he was named to the Freshman All-Pac-10 first team.