After the loss, which made the Pacers 8-9 in March, Hibbert called out his teammates by saying there were some “selfish dudes” in the locker room. Pacers head coach Frank Vogel later expressed his unhappiness with Hibbert’s comments and said he wanted the team to keep the issues in house rather than go to the media.
“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” Friday. “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.”
Despite their struggles, the Pacers still took the top spot in the Eastern Conference and will host the Atlanta Hawks in the first round beginning on Saturday.
Hibbert’s comments may be an indicator that Vogel’s words are being heeded by the team and that the players are coming together, but I still don’t like the way Pacers are heading into the playoffs. They’ll be able to handle the Hawks without an issue, but the second round will be a challenge.