Hibbert: Wrong to call out teammates

Updated: April 18, 2014, 3:51 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Roy Hibbert is moving forward after calling out his Indiana Pacers teammates in late March, saying Friday it "wasn't the best thing to do" and that he's learned from the experience.

"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."

"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."

After a 91-78 loss to the Washington Wizards on March 28, Hibbert had some choice words for his teammates.

"Some selfish dudes in here," the center told reporters. "Some selfish dudes. I'm tired of talking about it. We've been talking about it for a month."

Hibbert was criticized for what he said and when he said it -- the Pacers have struggled mightily after the All-Star break. Earlier this week Dan Dakich, an ESPN basketball analyst who has a talk show on ESPN 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis, questioned Hibbert's toughness.

"He has a misguided version of what toughness is. Toughness is going on the block and whopping up on somebody," Dakich said during an ESPN Radio appearance. "But I will say this, and this was a big deal here: When Greg Oden came in here with Miami -- and Greg Oden is an Indianapolis kid -- he was put on Miami to play Hibbert. Hibbert just kicked the living you-know-what out of him in the first quarter and eliminated the Greg Oden experiment.

"It's there, but with Roy, he has a misguided sense of who he is after being an All-Star."

Although they secured the Eastern Conference's top seed, the Pacers' struggles were evident over the season's final month, as they went 10-12 in their final 22 games.

The team's frustration reached a high point in a 107-88 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks on April 6, a contest in which coach Frank Vogel benched all five starters at one point. Hibbert, who appeared to be disinterested on the bench, didn't play in the second half in that game -- a move Vogel said was made for rest purposes.

No other player may be struggling more than Hibbert, who has scored a total of nine points on 3-of-28 shooting over his past four games.

The Pacers open the playoffs at home against the Hawks on Saturday.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.