Tyson Gibson, the first overall 2019 draft pick and Rookie of the Year in 2020 has found himself on a new team-on the other side of the country.
Gibson started his NLL career being drafted by the expansion New York Riptide with high expectations to be the future of the franchise.
Though the right hander has not seen the same success on the floor this year with New York as he did in his rookie campaign, only tallying 28 points in 11 games played for the Riptide, compared to 42 points in 12 games in his rookie year, there are still high expectations as he continues to develop.
Now that lacrosse has since resumed from the shutdown orders during the Covid-19 pandemic and a full season is happening, many are attempting to find their groove on the floor.
While the trade deadline passed on March 15 and many were shocked by some of the moves around the league, players who received phone calls from their new teams were stunned too.
Gibson being one of them.
He got the call right before deadline and that is when he found out he was heading out west to play for the Colorado Mammoth. Gibson was traded to Colorado in exchange for his former teammate, Tyler Digby, transition player Ron John, and the Mammoth’s 2024 first round pick. A solid price to pay for the potential that the former Rookie of the Year can bring.
“It was definitely an adjustment but that is to be expect,” said Gibson on his first two games with the Mammoth.
As he was going into his bye week with Riptide, he then had to suit up to play two games with his new team, including making his home debut in a stunning comeback against the Warriors and traveling further west to San Diego to take on the Seals.
“From a lacrosse standpoint, Colorado plays a different type of offense. There is a lot less structure and the ball moves fast.”
Gibson said for him personally, it is taking time to continue to adapt to the NLL style of play. Understandably so as he is now under his third head coach in just 25 games played.
With the balanced Colorado offense, his goal is to create space for righty powers in Ryan Lee and Zed Williams as well as share the ball, especially to the lefties. Eli McLaughlin and Connor Robinson on that side of the floor have combined for 55 goals on the season or about 41% of the teams total this season.
Gibson is confident those changes and adjustments will come with time and after a couple more games, he will deliver for the guys.
Gibson was thrilled with the team welcoming and said the guys made the adjustment as easy as possible given the quick turnaround.
His first weekend as a Mammoth, was “overall a great weekend”. Gibson tallied just one assist on the weekend but showed signs of cohesion with his new teammates.
Though the biggest adjustment are those long flights to and from the west coast said the Maple, Ontario native.
After playing two games last weekend, the flight back to New York wasn’t so easy, especially after a heartbreaking loss to the Seals in the second matchup.
While adjustments take time and new goals are set in place for Gibson to be successful the remainder of the season and seasons ahead. The Mammoth currently sit in the second spot in the West at 7-5 and are poised to make a playoff run whereas the Riptide are only 3-8 and are a longshot to make the playoffs in a competitive East Conference. With six games remaining, there is time to learn the offense and get hot at the right time.
He said, “my goal is to help this team continue to win and set a foundation into the playoffs.”
Continue to enhance what has been in place for a team seeing success on the floor.
All while adapting to the type of plays and style the team runs and use his skills that work in this league.
As we all know, it usually takes a couple seasons to find comfortability in this league as well as with your teammates and coaches and then continue to grow from there. He will look to contribute this weekend as the Mammoth travel to a red-hot Panther City team on Saturday (9:30pm ET, ESPNU/TSN.ca)
Gibson did have to remind us that he has yet to play a full season in the NLL for the same team. Hopefully it comes soon.
He is looking to continue to prove why he was a number one overall pick and most of all, look to win a NLL Cup with his new team.
This is part of a two-part series discussing the trade between Colorado and New York prior to the 2022 NLL Trade Deadline. To see the other story discussing Tyler Digby’s story click here.