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Report: Roy Hibbert’s ‘selfish dudes’ comment late in the regular season was directed at Lance Stephenson

May 28, 2014, 11:30 PM EDT

Lance Stephenson Lance Stephenson

At the end of March when the Pacers were right in the thick of their second-half struggles, Roy Hibbert lashed out at his teammates following a loss to the Wizards.

“Some selfish dudes in here,” Roy Hibbert muttered. “Some selfish dudes. I’m tired of talking about it. We’ve been talking about it for a month.”

“We play hard, but we’ve got to move the ball,” Hibbert said. “Is it obvious, or what? I don’t know whatever our assist ratio, or whatever it is, is in the league, but it probably isn’t up there. I’m really trying hard not to spaz out right now, but I don’t know. We’ve been talking about it for a month. I’m not handling the rock. I don’t know. I’ve made suggestions before and we do it for, like, one game, and then we revert back to what we are. I don’t know. I’m not the one to answer that question. It directly affects me and the bigs. We’re just out there and it makes us look bad.”

As it turns out, Hibbert wasn’t taking down a group of players with these remarks. Instead, they were directed solely at Lance Stephenson.

From Mike Wells and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:

Hibbert didn’t come out and identify the player directly to NBA.com’s David Aldridge, but he was talking about Lance Stephenson on March 28 after a loss in Washington, when he said “there’s some selfish dudes” in the locker room. …

After Stephenson missed out on the All-Star team, he changed. He started a bit of a personal vendetta against East coaches, wanting to personally send a message in those games, which took him further out of the flow on some nights, sources said. 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 is a wild card to be sure, and on the court that had worked in Indiana’s favor over the first half of the season, when he was a nightly triple-double threat while playing within the team’s offense.

But everything in that ESPN piece is well-researched and valid, and if general managers around the league are paying close attention, it shouldn’t bode well for Stephenson when he hits the open market in free agency this summer.

This Pacers team is talented, but has struggled with immaturity issues essentially since the All-Star break. Most recently, we saw Stephenson needlessly give LeBron James additional motivation by talking trash through the media, while his teammates blamed the officials for a loss that had zero to do with the fouls that were or were not called.

Stephenson has been the personification of that, and it appears as though he might be better-suited playing for a team with some veteran personalities that can help him focus on the task at hand. The Pacers were once the favorites to retain his services as a free agent, but the way things have continued to unfold simply must have the organization questioning if indeed that would be a wise decision.

  1. themagicfanguy - May 28, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    More fake news stories from the media outlets. What’s the source on this? All it says is that Hibbert didn’t specify, but he was totally talking about Stephenson just because we say so.
    I hate sports media more and more with the unsubstantiated “news” we get every day.

    • joeypeepee - May 29, 2014 at 1:46 AM

      Hibbert was obviously talking about Stephenson. You don’t need an official quote to know that. Everything said in the article makes sense.

    • sportsfan18 - May 29, 2014 at 8:00 AM

      Lance is a tool…

      Addition by subtraction…

      Goodbye Lance…

    • bigmeechy74 - May 29, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      So since it’s “fake news” then who do you think he was referring to when he said it? Scola?

  2. ProBasketballPundit - May 28, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    Hibbert plays selfish more often than Lance, but both of them are what derailed this team. It’s called The Disease of ‘Me’ and it was coined by Sir Pat Riley.

    • sumkat - May 29, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      Sir Pat Riley who traded for, and built a team around Shaq, the ultimate “me” player?

  3. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - May 28, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    Hibbert has proven to be a head case and nothing he says has any validity at this point….

  4. antistratfordian - May 28, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    This team is probably driving Bird absolutely bonkers.

    • ddogdaddy - May 29, 2014 at 12:48 AM

      It must be tough being the President of the #1 ranked team in the East.

      • antistratfordian - May 29, 2014 at 1:51 AM

        Where are you getting your rankings from? They’re outdated. Most objective observers have the Heat as the top team in the East.

      • sonnysuave - May 29, 2014 at 9:15 AM

        Anti, where’s your head this morning?? Pacers are the #1 top seed in the East playoffs, finishing the reg season 56-26, while the Heat finished 2nd seed with 54-28 record.

      • therealhtj - May 29, 2014 at 10:50 AM

        Congrats on that regular season championship!

  5. bballhistorian - May 29, 2014 at 12:07 AM

    Good luck to whichever team signs Stephenson (not going to be Pacers). He’s going to be a head-case for the next 3 season until he matures.

  6. seattlesuperchronic - May 29, 2014 at 12:10 AM

    bballhistorian

    JR Smith says it can last a lot longer than three years.

    • therealhtj - May 29, 2014 at 9:28 AM

      Never pay a Coney Island kid. Just ask Steph Marbury.

  7. davidly - May 29, 2014 at 5:40 AM

    So he went public with his frustration, but obscured the object of his ire in the plural? Nah. Of course everyone knows that Stephenson was part of it, as he’s clearly the odd-man out. But he also knew most of his touches still came from Lance. This “story” is a whitewash that fits the mold of the moment, which is to put all of the team’s shortcomings at Hibbert and Stephenson’s feet.

  8. theebadguy - May 29, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    So sick of the Pacers. Can’t wait for them to be eliminated

    • bball242322 - May 29, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      I’m so sick of whatever team you root for

      • theebadguy - May 29, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        Is that supposed to bother me you wee little mental?

  9. El Pollo Loco - May 29, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    This is why im rooting for the Heat to win because this is an unlikable pacers team.Bunch of me first players

    • sumkat - May 29, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      and when was it that the heat became “likable”?

  10. azarkhan - May 29, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    So why wasn’t Stephenson benched? (Of course, I realize that if every selfish player was benched, most NBA teams wouldn’t be able to field the 8 players required to play a game.)

    • sumkat - May 29, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      Because he backup is Evan Turner?

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