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Roy Hibbert has no interest in summer Pro-Am leagues, heads to San Antonio to train with Tim Duncan

Aug 20, 2013, 12:03 AM EDT

Pacers' Hibbert looks down court during Game 6 of their NBA Eastern Conference Final basketball playoff series against the Heat in Indianapolis Reuters

We’ve been enjoying a slew of highlight reels from plenty of big-name NBA players who have been participating in Pro-Am leagues around the country this summer.

But don’t expect to see Roy Hibbert showing up at the Drew League in Los Angeles or at Jamal Crawford‘s Seattle league any time soon.

Hibbert is apparently into more serious matters — like training with Tim Duncan in San Antonio in order to improve his overall game for next season.

From Scott Agness of

Hibbert said in late July that the plan was to work out with Duncan “for a week or two, probably in August.” As expected, he went into Duncan’s training grounds in San Antonio on Monday for a workout with fellow bigs.

How serious is Big Roy about soaking in all he could from Duncan, both on the court and in the weight room? Hibbert brought his strength coach, Mike Robertson, with him.

Hibbert greatly respects Duncan’s game and the two are close friends. They text often throughout the season, with Hibbert trying to absorb as much as he can from the future Hall of Famer.

Hibbert took to Twitter to confirm his attendance for training in San Antonio, while having nothing positive to say about those Pro-Am leagues at the same time.

Hibbert followed that up with a thank-you to the Spurs for letting him work out with their players.

It’s great to see a player like Hibbert taking his craft so seriously, but there’s no reason to disparage the Pro-Am games. Besides, no one is inviting centers like Hibbert to these things anyway, considering a highlight reel of blocked shots and fouls isn’t exactly what those summertime games are all about.

  1. brotherlove2012 - Aug 20, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    Don’t want to be the Grinch here, but if one of those players “showcasing” his talent gets seriously hurt playing against those scrubs, you’ll see some serious reconsideration about playing there. If Hibbert hurts himself training seriously, it’s no biggie. But if for example Blake Griffin would reinjure his knee buffooning around on the court against semi-pro players, it wouldn’t so cool anymore.

  2. dezglobal - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    No one better to learn from.. Smart kid.

  3. northstarnic - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    Nice to see a young guy putting in the hard work in the gym and taking the opportunity to learn from an all time great. Heck, a few more NBA-ers do this in the offseason instead of the self promoting, silliness much of the league is engaged in, they might return a degree of respectability to the NBA as a serious sports league.

    • blackhawks2013 - Aug 20, 2013 at 2:22 AM

      Amen Northstarnic. It seems most of the off season news is about players getting in trouble. Here is a young man who isn’t satisfied with just blocking shots and dunking. He wants to be a basketball player. As a Bulls fan it is scary if Hibbert learns the moves and gets the shooting accuracy of Duncan.

    • mrhoopfan - Aug 20, 2013 at 9:43 AM

      In what other professional sport do the athletes work on their game more than NBAers

      • Kurt Helin - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        Actually, a lot of sports at the pro level. Not to knock NBA players, but NFL, NBA, tennis, golf…. they all do it at this level.

  4. adamsjohn714 - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    Maybe Duncan can teach Hibbert to shoot. If he wasn’t a horrendous shooter he’d actually be really good.

    • badintent - Aug 20, 2013 at 2:34 AM

      He doesn’t have to. Poshy Boshy will lay down some eggs and pray for Birdman to do his work

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 20, 2013 at 2:55 AM

        yes. Hibbert can just hope he goes up against Chris Bosh every game for the rest of his career…. Wish in one hand, spit in the other… see which one fills up first.

      • badintent - Aug 20, 2013 at 3:04 AM

        I just need one hand to palm a basketball as I slam dunk over you.But we do know what you do with both hands.
        Hibbert will meet Boshy in the Eastern Finals, game over for Poshy.Heat won’t have the benefit of Paul Gerorge disappearing the last two games next time.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 20, 2013 at 8:24 AM

        You’re right, badintent. I’m only 5’11” so if you can dunk, you could probably dunk over me. What exactly do I do with both hands?

        Yes, I suppose Hibbert, who fouls at an above average rate, could hope that he commits fouls at a much lower rate against a team that goes to the free throw line quite a bit. He could also hope that David West, who is old, doesn’t have a drop in production (likely). He could hope that Luis Scola, who also is old and not very good anymore, somehow manages to produce enough to make up for Hansbrough’s (decent) loss. He could hope that Wade plays poorly because of an injury (by far the likeliest, though certainly no guarantee). Also, he’s going to have to hope that they don’t face the bulls in the playoffs, because that would be a pretty tough matchup for them. He could have all of these factors work out just right, which is a huge uncertainty, or he could learn to shoot 50% from the floor. It’s not that hard. He’s over 7 feet tall. He should easily be shooting over 50%. He should not be shooting 45% (abysmal) under any circumstances.

    • bougin89 - Aug 20, 2013 at 10:02 AM

      If I were a Pacers fan I’d take my chances with Hibbert and his 17.0 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.9 bpg on 51.1fg% and 80.6ft% in the playoffs. No other center in the East was nearly as good as him in the playoffs. But who watches the playoffs??

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 20, 2013 at 10:15 AM

        I watch the playoffs. He played pretty well, and great against the heat. The regular season didn’t suggest he would do that, and it’s not likely that he continues to shoot poorly in the regular season and then magically gets better in the playoffs. If he keeps doing that, I’d question his commitment to the game. Why doesn’t he care, if that’s the case.

      • runthepicketfence - Aug 20, 2013 at 10:17 AM

        I’m guess the same people who read basketball blogs in the summer …

  5. smackingfools - Aug 20, 2013 at 1:39 AM


  6. franbotel - Aug 20, 2013 at 4:00 AM

    Like anyone is going to buy a ticket to watch him play. Jordan, Lebron, Kobe, durant, harden almost all superstars play in Pro-Am leagues. It is a way to reach to fans that never get the opportunity to go to NBA games.

  7. raylangivens2 - Aug 20, 2013 at 4:13 AM

    “Man Timmy D has showed me so much about pounding it down low. No homo.”

  8. trublazer - Aug 20, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    Timmy can start by teaching him a little humility

    • metalhead65 - Aug 20, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      humility? so telling it like it is about the summer leagues makes him not humble? I guess I missed the part where he is always in the news talking about himself or getting into trouble. the guy is a very humble young man who you never hear about unless it is a story like this where he says he would rather work to get better than play around during the summer. in addition he does a awful lot of work in the community that he never talks about, you may hear about it but he does not hold a press conference every time he visits sick kids or donates his time and money to help. the guy already has that part of Duncan”s game down pat.

    • davidly - Aug 20, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      Ditto what metalhead said. Unless by “a little humility” you meant “to go glass” – then I agree.

  9. davidly - Aug 20, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    It’s great to see a player like Hibbert taking his craft so seriously, but there’s no reason to disparage the Pro-Am games scrubs.

    • spursareold - Aug 20, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      Yeah, anyone playing in the summer Pro/Ams is just getting in some conditioning work. You can’t improve or work on your game in that chaotic setting.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 20, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        Those things are like basketball porn.

  10. jcmeyer10 - Aug 20, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    No reason why he can’t do both but it’s nice to see him not only hit the gym, but do it with a legend.

  11. somekat - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    1, I love this kid. If more of the league thought the way he does, the league could actually become watchable again. From coming out of G’Town and falling to the late teens, he just took that as a challenge and has become IMO, the best C in the game right now (even IF Howard and Bynum are healthy, which is doubtful)

    2, He’s right, you don’t get better in these Pro-Am games. You play down to your competition, period. If you can beat a guy every time down without putting on that extra move, you stop putting on that extra move. Then when you play against guys you can’t beat without it, you are not used to using it. When you can dominate because you athletic ability is so much better, you use less skill, because you don’t need to. It’s human nature. I’m not one to say these guys shouldn’t be able to go out and have a good time playing. It’s better than what a lot of other guys do for “fun”. But let’s not pretend it’s something else, what they are doing is having a good time. If that is their off season “training”, I think they are going to be in for a rude awakening when they run into guys like Hibbert during the season

    • kinggw - Aug 20, 2013 at 6:36 PM

      Hibbert is the best center in the game? You are overreacting to him having a good series against the Heat. The same undersized Heat team that leat Nicola Vucevic put up two 20/20 games on them last year.

      Other than the Heat series, Hibbert’s numbers in the regular season and the two playoff series before the conference finals were solid, not great. He’s not the best center in the league, he’s not even the best center in the East or his own division (Noah). I know people are down on Howard but he’s still the best center in the league. Hibbert may be more likeable than Howard and gestures like working out with Duncan will endear him to many but that doesn’t make him a better player. Hibbert is good, Howard is elite, its going to take more than one series against an undersized Heat team for him to become the best center in the league.

  12. badintent - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    Wow. No mention on NBA Defender of the Year Tyson Chandler. He was the MVP Knick this year bar none.Does it all, Pathetic , even for a summer blog .

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