Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert has recently aired his grievances about the Pacers' struggles on multiple occasions, and head coach Frank Vogel has let it be known he won't tolerate it anymore, according to Bob Kravitz of The Indianapolis Star:
"It bothers me,'' Vogel said before the Pacers' 101-94 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. "Guys should never air in-house stuff to the media. I talked to the team about it today (Wednesday).
"It was a weird thing. Roy said it a couple of days ago (after the Washington loss) and nobody really caught onto it until (recently). So I made sure to tell them that A) I don't believe we have 'selfish dudes' in our locker room and B) whatever you might want to say about your teammates, don't say it to the media. We have to get that stopped.''
Things started getting ugly just over two weeks ago after the Pacers lost to the New York Knicks. Hibbert had one of his few good games in a woeful March, but he was frustrated by the fact that he only took 10 shots. The big man complained about Indiana becoming too perimeter-oriented, and without naming names, seemed to be taking a shot at Lance Stephenson, per Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star:
"We've fallen in love with the jump shot for a while," Hibbert said. "People feel like they have it going and they want to do it themselves sometimes. That's just how it works. I feel like two guys that I have 100 percent trust in doing that is Paul and David. I feel like they should have carte blanche on whatever they want to do in terms of attacking the paint and (put) the ball's in their hands because they've earned my respect."
Then after a woeful loss to the Washington Wizards on Friday, Hibbert said there were "some selfish dudes" in the Pacers' locker room. Stephenson may again have been a target here, although Paul George may have been as well. After playing like an MVP candidate over the first few months, George's shooting has severely regressed, but it hasn't exactly stopped him from jacking up shots.
Hibbert wasn't done. After yet another terrible offensive performance, this time at home, against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, the center said the Pacers were "in a downward spiral" and "splintering a bit." During that game, Stephenson and George Hill got into a verbal confrontation, while Evan Turner was benched in the second half.
Indiana did play a bit better in a 101-94 home victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, although the game was tight in the final minutes and a fluke three by George played a big part in the victory. The Pacers did shoot nearly 50 percent in the win, which is a good sign even if it was just against the lowly Pistons.
A strong test awaits Indiana on Friday when they travel to Toronto to face the Raptors. The Pacers have lost five straight away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse, failing to reach 80 points in the last four.