Things did not end well between the Pacers and Roy Hibbert. His production took a dive in the second half of 2013-14 and most of last season, and as their contender status disappeared with Paul George‘s leg injury, Hibbert’s lack of offense wore out its welcome. A press conference in June by team president Larry Bird promised that the Pacers were going to transition to a smallball style, a clear message to Hibbert that he wasn’t wanted anymore. This was one of the factors that led to David West opting out of the final year of his contract and leaving to sign in San Antonio. To make the point again, the team drafted big man Myles Turner, all but asking Hibbert to opt out of his deal. He didn’t, and he was ultimately given away to the Lakers for nothing more than a distant future second-round pick.
All good, says Hibbert.
Before Hibbert moved out of his Indiana home last week, he invited Paul George to come over one last time, hiring a barber to give the former Pacers teammates haircuts in the barber-shop chair in Hibbert’s man cave.
“I don’t harbor any resentment. I don’t want to see those guys do badly,” Hibbert said.
First of all, having a barbershop chair in your house is awesome. But besides that, it’s good to see that Hibbert’s rocky relationship with the Pacers’ front office isn’t clouding his relationship with his former teammates.
Hibbert has taken a considerable fall from the media darling he was a few years ago, when he was making Parks and Recreation guest appearances and getting Defensive Player of the Year buzz. But he has a great opportunity to rehabilitate his career with the Lakers. They need a rim protector badly, and he’s still very good on the defensive end. Things ran their course in Indiana, and a change was necessary for both sides. But that doesn’t mean Hibbert is no longer a productive NBA player — he gets a lot of flak for his lack of offense, which has unfairly colored his perception as an overall player. Whatever the direction the league is going, someone his size with his defensive ability is never going to be completely out of style, and he’ll be motivated to prove himself on a new team in a contract year.