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Friday, February 15, 2019

Roy Hibbert’s ‘selfish dudes’ comment reportedly directed at Lance Stephenson

Lance StephensonWhen the Indiana Pacers were in the middle of their worst stretch of the regular season back in March, Roy Hibbert claimed one of the reasons the team was struggling was because there are some “selfish dudes” in the locker room. According to Mike Wells and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, Hibbert was basically only talking about one dude — Lance Stephenson.

Apparently Stephenson was extremely upset after he was left off the Eastern Conference All-Star roster. Because of that, he wanted to prove a point to the East coaches that they made a mistake. Hibbert — and likely other Pacers players — felt that Stephenson’s bitterness changed his game.

Overall, the team noticed a shift in Stephenson from a more team-oriented approach to a more self-oriented focus, where he started obsessing about his statistics. People within the team believed his upcoming free agency was also a motivating factor for Stephenson, who wanted to enhance his value, something he believed suffered when he didn’t get an All-Star nod. …

Stephenson’s act had long worn thin by late March. When the players had meetings to address issues with the sudden struggles, Stephenson sometimes wasn’t involved. Occasionally he appeared to be unaware they were even happening. Most players on the team, now that they were losing, shared similar feelings about Stephenson, but did not vocalize their problems publicly.

Stephenson doesn’t seem to be the most popular player in the Pacers’ locker room. He didn’t receive any support from his teammates when he was trash talking LeBron James, and Paul George even said Stephenson was barking up the wrong tree. Stephenson later admitted the trash talk was a bad idea, but then he went and blew in LeBron’s ear during Game 5.

There’s no denying Stephenson’s talent. He has great scoring ability and is a tremendous rebounder for his size. That said, he is just 23 years old and has plenty of maturing to do. That could cost him some money when he becomes a free agent this summer.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

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