Roy Hibbert was one of the biggest reasons the Indiana Pacers sent the Eastern Conference finals to a seventh game, and he’s also one of the biggest reasons why they were blown out in the decider.
Hibbert had 18 points and eight rebounds in his team’s 99-76 Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat, but he wasn’t a huge factor in the game. He fouled out in the fourth quarter and had to sit key minutes after picking up his third foul with 1:12 left in the first half, and his fifth foul with 2:09 left in the third quarter. He was replaced by Ian Mahinmi to end both quarters.
Hibbert was also the biggest topic of conversation prior to Game 7 after he was fined $75,000 by the league on Sunday for cursing at the media and dropping a “no homo.”
As time expired in Game 7, Hibbert bolted into the tunnel to the locker room while the rest of his teammates and coaches stuck around to congratulate the Heat and shake hands. George Hill, Paul George, Lance Stephenson, and coach Frank Vogel were among the Pacers seen shaking hands with Heat players while Hibbert was in the locker room.
David West was the other notable Pacers player who did not shake hands with the Heat. According to the Indianapolis Star’s Mike Wells, that is because West considers himself an old school player who is not friends with his opponents.
Hibbert had a different reason for not shaking hands. He told Wells that he is not close with those players and he did not want to ruin their moment.
“I know some of our guys have played on teams with some of them, but I don’t know them personally,” Hibbert explained to The Star. “It was their moment because they won. I have tremendous respect for them, but I don’t know any of those guys personally and I didn’t want to interrupt their moment.”
Is that a lame or legit excuse? That seems like a lame excuse to me for a guy who was a big goat going into the game. It seemed to me like Hibbert just wanted to leave all the negativity behind him as soon as possible, so he slunk out of the arena.
Even though the way he ended his season was disappointing, Hibbert should at least take comfort knowing that he has plenty of company. LeBron James pulled a similar stunt in 2009, Russell Westbrook did it in 2011, and the Celtics’ top players have done blown off handshakes two years in a row.
Hibbert taking his walk of shame.
Video via The Point ForwardGoogle+