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Roy Hibbert didn't look like a big man on the trading block last night

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Roy Hibbert spent Tuesday night dining and talking hoops with a pair of NBA legends, including his boss Larry Bird. The public meeting looked like an endorsement of Hibbert, or did it?


Shortly after the Pacers were eliminated from the playoff in late May, Larry Bird expressed some frustrations with how Roy Hibbert finished the season and publicly implored the big man to seek out one of the all-time great centers to work on his game in the offseason.

Bird's tone in discussing Hibbert made it easy to speculate that a trade involving the big fella wouldn't be surprising. Rumors of talks with the Suns and other teams that might alter the Pacers roster in a big way seemed to indicate Hibbert was at least in the conversation.

Well, on Tuesday night, Hibbert didn't look like a man on the trading block as he shared a very public meal at Ruth's Chris Steak House with his boss Larry Bird and Bird's former on-court enemy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Further tweets and posts by Kareem mentioned the dinner and discussion was just the start of the Hall of Fame center schooling Hibbert on the finer points of post play with a 7'2 frame. I'm sure I'm not the only one who saw this and then tried (and failed) to visualize Hibbert giving a little shoulder fake before flowing into a smooth sky hook.

Hibbert at least has to try and give us a sky hook in preseason, right? Talk about entertaining. Also, playing a game in old-school goggles  is also a must.

But will the work Hibbert puts in with Abdul-Jabbar benefit the Pacers?

Just because Bird was involved in a very public dinner with the two centers, doesn't mean he has ruled out moving Hibbert. In fact, this midsummer PR may help improve his bargaining position behind closed doors. Look at Roy trying to get better by working with the best.

With 38,387 career points, Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA's all-time leading scorer, who often made it look easy in the post. While Hibbert will never be a high-scoring offensive player, if Kareem can help smooth some of the rough edges of Roy's post game, it may give the big man a confidence boost he needs to return to All-Star level of play.

And that possibility may be enough for Bird's phone to ring out of the public eye.