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Taj Gibson On Bulls-Cavs Trash Talk: 'It's A Bunch Of Grown Men'

(CBS) A day after Cavaliers star LeBron James took issue with Bulls big man Joakim Noah's trash talk in a Game 3 that Chicago won at the buzzer, Taj Gibson explained that this Eastern Conference semifinal series isn't for the faint of heart and that all the drama comes from the competitive juices an an intense matchup.

"Man, we grew up playing basketball," said Gibson, who spent most of his childhood growing up in Brooklyn. "Trash talking is in every neighborhood, every project, every city and state. It doesn't matter. That's part of basketball. That's two guys that are great competitors going after it. It's part of the game. This is the NBA. This isn't a bunch of little boys. It's a bunch of grown men. It's real physical, and things are going to be said. But at the end of the day, it's basketball.''

James and Noah were assessed double technical fouls in the third quarter of Friday's contest after James dunked over Noah and taunted him before Noah mouthed back at him. James was upset with something Noah had said on the prior possession, and he let his feelings be known after Chicago's 99-96 win gave it a 2-1 series lead.

"I love his emotion," James said of Noah. "As a competitor, I love his emotion, but I think the words that he used to me was just a little bit, a little bit too far. I'm a father with three kids. It got very disrespectful. I'm OK with competing against Jo. I love the competitive nature in him, but we should leave it there. The disrespectful words he said to me were uncalled for."

Noah's well-known for sharing his disdain of the city of Cleveland and getting into verbal altercations with James. While it's unclear just how much he can frustrate opponents with such tactics, the Bulls just want Noah to be himself.

"Jo's a player that things like that tend … he just speaks his mind," Gibson said. "He doesn't purposely try to do things like that. He's just one of those great competitors that you want to go to war with, and you know will always have your back 110 percent.''

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