Pretty much every NBA player has stories of wild nights out on the town. The kind of nights on the town that belong in a movie. Some players have a lot of those nights. They just don’t talk publically about them.
But Roy Hibbert did.
Hibbert was on the NBA Hang Time podcast with comedian/writer Chelsea Peretti and they talked about the night the two led a group of friends out on the town in Los Angeles. That would be the night the Pacers beat the Lakers and Kobe Bryant broke Hibbert’s nose. Didn’t slow him down, and he and Peretti described it. (The Basketball Jones does the transcription for us.)
Roy Hibbert: We went to Roscoe’s. I had never been to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. I know Snoop Dogg frequents that place a lot and I just wanted to go see celebrities. I felt that was the best place to go.
So myself, another person from the Pacers organization and Tyler Hansbrough, we met up with Chelsea and some of the writers. We ate and then we actually didn’t want the night to end. We heard there was a club across the street and it was Jamaican Gold Night. So we walk over there, we get a table — and it’s very hood, a very hood club, black people in there just acting crazy and everything like that…
Chelsea Peretti: And this is when I really come alive.
RH: Yeah, yeah. She was dancing. Seriously, she was in — you ever seen those old J Lo videos where she’s in the middle of the club, just dancing? That’s what she was. She was in control of her environment.
You need to listen to the entire thing, to hear him talk about more details including the guy dealing from a wheelchair.
By the way, Hibbert and Peretti know each other because he did some guest appearances on NBC’s Parks & Recreation and Peretti was a writer on that show.
And one other note to you not from Los Angeles — when you’re here, you need to go eat at Roscoe’s. For the food and the experience. That and Philippe’s. Those are two quintessential Los Angeles dining experiences (that are affordable).
Kevin Durant has been working out on the court before the last couple of Warriors road games, and people watching have taken note — he was moving well, shooting, and generally looking healthy for a guy coming off a grade 2 MCL sprain and a bone bruise.
Reports were out that Durant was on target to return before the end of the season.
Wednesday the Warriors confirmed that.
Teams are vague, realistically what is that timeline?
Durant likely would be on a minutes restriction for those game, but just getting to shake the rust off and work on his conditioning in a real game would help Golden State heading into the playoffs.
Not that they need much help, having won eight in a row. The Warriors have a 2.5 game lead over the Spurs for the top seed in the Western Conference heading into the game between the two Wednesday night.
The Lakers lost to the Wizards because they are young, inconsistent, and defend like traffic cones at times.
But that young Lakers core also has its moments.
Los Angeles strung together 15 straight made buckets to end the third quarter Tuesday night. Some of it was flukey, like Corey Brewer driving and finishing contested layups like he’s Kyrie Irving, but there were things Lakers fans should want to see such as D'Angelo Russell draining threes, Jordan Clarkson working hard off the ball and his teammates finding him, and Julius Randle just attacking.
After this run the Lakers led by 13 going into the fourth, but lost the game.
What this ultimately means is next season the Knicks should have Joakim Noah available just before Thanksgiving.
Noah has been suspended 20 games for testing positive for a banned substance, but because he was out due to knee surgery the suspension did not start until he was “physically able to play.” Noah said on Tuesday that he had been cleared, but that was just by the team doctors. He also had to be cleared by the NBA’s doctors (because if teams could cheat they would).
That happened Wednesday, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.
Noah’s first season in New York after signing a four-year, $72 million deal has been a disappointment. To put it kindly. He’s not been completely healthy, and any observer of him the past few years had to wonder if he would ever be fully healthy again. He had lost a step from the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year before the Knicks signed him. The Knicks don’t need him to necessarily be that dominant a force again (although it would be nice), but they need to get more out of him and see if he is a fit next to Kristaps Porzingis for now as the Knicks try to build a roster for next season that can play a little defense. And the triangle.
The Indiana Pacers need healthy bodies for their playoff run, and they had three rotation guys injured between Al Jefferson, Glenn Robinson III, and Rodney Stuckey. Wednesday, the Pacers waived Stuckey to create an open roster spot to bring in some help (they were not going to pick up his option for next season anyway).
Who are they bringing in? The prodigal son Lance Stephenson returns, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The surprising part of the deal was the security Stephenson got, as first reported by Adam Zagoria at his blog — three years, $12 million, with a player option for the final year. (This has since been confirmed by other sources.) Other teams were looking at giving Stephenson a 10-day contract, the length of the Pacers’ offer is a surprise.
Stephenson played in six games for Minnesota recently, averaging 3.5 points per game off the bench, but an ankle sprain kept the Timberwolves from really having to decide whether to keep him for the season. Stephenson knows how to create shots for himself and can be a good defender when focused, something we saw with the Pelicans at the start of this season — he became a key part of their rotation averaging 9.7 points and 4.8 assists per game until he tore his groin.
It’s a little strange to see him back in Pacers colors. It will be particularly strange if the Pacers stay in the seven seed and the Cavaliers remain the two-seed setting up a first-round playoff series. Because I don’t think any of us need to see this again.