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Pacers Media Day: For Roy Hibbert, Silence is Golden

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Vowing to do a "better job of just shutting-up," Roy Hibbert has clearly learned from his past mistakes.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Roy Hibbert made a mistake last season when he chose to air the team's dirty laundry publicly instead of keeping things in-house:

Some selfish dudes in here," Roy Hibbert muttered Friday night, after getting eight shots in the Pacers' loss to the Wizards. "Some selfish dudes. I'm tired of talking about it. We've been talking about it for a month."

When the two-time All-Star complained to NBA.com's David Aldridge about having some "selfish dudes" in the locker room, he willfully invited unnecessary media scrutiny that never fully went away last season.

Consider it a learning experience.

At the Pacers' Monday afternoon media session, the team's 7-foot center made sure to really bring home one specific point, "This season, I'm going to do a better job of not talking, saying stuff on my mind to the media..."

In an effort to minimize off-the-court distractions, Roy plans to let his play do all the talking, "I'm going to do a better job of just shutting-up."

Put simply: less talk and more action.

A solid strategy, given that the frustration he displayed from perceived lack of touches and the distraction his comments produced for his team can both likely be considered as mitigating factors in his and the Pacers' collective second half swoon last season.

While vowing to do a better job of keeping his "mouth shut," the Big Dawg also admitted that prematurely vocalizing goals and expectations for the 2013-14 season only created added pressure for himself and the team when things went south post All-Star break.

When asked about realistic expectations for the team this upcoming season given the circumstances, the two-time All-Star - learning from past mistakes - pensively remarked, "I'm not going to answer that. I'll let coach do that."

While he certainly has regrets from last season, Roy emphasized that he wants to let go of the past and focus mentally on what he can bring to the court (i.e. finishing in the paint, meshing with new teammates, asserting himself in the paint, and becoming more efficient), instead of expelling wasted energy worrying about things he previously said off the court.

Committing himself to "keeping his mouth shut" and "just playing," Hibbert, if he maintains his vow of silence, definitely has learned a valuable lesson this off-season regarding his mental approach to the game:

Sometimes, silence really is golden.

Notes:

  • Hibbert disclosed that his work with Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul Jabbar helped him to improve his skills as a defender as well as, more obviously, his offense.
  • The Pacers' center said that Kareem also helped him work on his mental focus. In unorthodox fashion, this was apparently achieved by watching ninja movies together.
  • While lamenting that no one on the team would be able to bring to the court the multi-faceted skill sets that Lance Stephenson and Paul George each individually possess, he seemed enthused by the prospect of filling the gap offensively with better team balance, citing the reigning champion San Antonio Spurs and stating, "everybody is going to eat."
  • Staying true to his jovial nature, Roy also took advantage of the opportunity to call out the fashion choice of play-by-play broadcaster, Mark Boyle:

Tagging the below picture with the words: @royhibbert55 worst shirt of the day award! What y'all think?