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NBA, Smack / Apr 18, 2014 / 2:30 pm

Roy Hibbert Admits He Was Wrong To Call Out His Teammates In The Media

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

The Pacers went 10-12 in their final 22 games of the 2013-14 NBA season. Still, after starting the season red hot, they had built enough of a buffer to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, thereby solidifying home-court for what looks to be an inevitable Eastern Conference Finals matchup against the Heat. During Indy’s fall from grace, Roy Hibbert vented to the media, calling out unnamed teammates for being selfish. Now, on the precipice of the playoffs, Hibbert says he was wrong to take his issues public.

On Friday, Hibbert showed remorse after he publicly condemned some teammates for being selfish. He said on “ESPN First Take” that he was wrong to lash out in the media about his teammates:

“You know, I think that I should’ve kept my frustrations to myself or just in the locker room,” Hibbert said on “ESPN First Take.”

“I will admit that it wasn’t the best thing to do. I’ll learn from that, and I was wrong. There are better ways to handle that than going to the media. All in all, I learned. I talked to my teammates; they talked to me. I’m willing to accept the criticism. It wasn’t the best thing to do.”

As we already wrote about, Hibbert’s frustrations came out in post-game comments following a Friday loss to the Wizards when he told reporters there’s “Some selfish dudes in here. Some selfish dudes. I’m tired of talking about it. We’ve been talking about it for a month.”

The Pacers just didn’t look like NBA Finals contenders in the late March and April. Their offense devolved into a me-first collection of incongruent parts that couldn’t coexist, so it’s not like Hibbert’s comments were totally off-base, just that they should have stayed within the confines of the team.

Ostensible star Paul George is struggling too, but Hibbert probably faltered the most as the regular season concluded. In his last four games, the beast created in the offseason was just 3-for-28 from the field for nine points in those contests. To repeat: those numbers are an aggregate of those four games.

Hibbert was smart to acknowledge his public relations blunder, even if there was a grain of truth to his comments. But with the Pacers kicking off their series against Atlanta on Saturday, they’ll need him to return to his butt-kicking days when “verticality” was just a buzz word for Hibbert’s defensive dominance.

(ESPN)

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  • SweetdickWilly

    Roy never said he’s the number #1 guy. This is a case of people trying to talk out of both sides of their mouths by stating the obvious that the team is spiraling and that Roy Hibbert is negative. Paul George is who you hear about and see being called overrated and a future Basketball Wives star. This also illustrates the classic double standard between perimeter and post players. Perimeter players often get passes for their gaffes and public criticism of teammates while post players are labelled as “bad teammates” and “wrong” when they get vocal about the poor play of teammates, even though a bad guard or guards can singlehandedly make a team the Washington Generals far more than a center or power forward that sucks. Post play is most influenced by the system and the cast of players who do the ballhandling, not unlike a wide receiver. If they’re not getting the ball in the proper instance and or are getting frozen out, it’s way more of a bad look on the coaching and the backcourt than it is on the frontcourt. Roy probably is the best center in the league after Dwight Howard and the Pacers need him just as much as Paul to win the East even though the Pacers basically use him as third option or so.