Source: Indianapolis Star
The sting that burned on that June 2008 night has lingered the past four years for center Roy Hibbert.
Hibbert watched as Brook Lopez was taken tenth in the draft. Players selected below him believed they were better than Hibbert. Analysts criticized him for being "too slow and too big" to be effective in the NBA. Some wondered if he would even be a starter in the league.
Hibbert never talked about it publicly, he just kept those comments in the back of his mind as he got better each season.
He's getting the last laugh now. He was an All-Star last season and he's about to be $58 million richer.
Hibbert signed a four-year, $58-million deal and teammate George Hill, an Indianapolis native, signed a five-year, $40-million deal Friday.
The Pacers then held a press conference that was open to the public in the entry pavilion of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Members of Hibbert's Area 55 fan section were attendance.
"I seriously felt disrespected and hurt in the draft process," Hibbert said. "Part of me says, 'Where are they now?' when talking about those guys taken 16th and below. I'm very happy to be in this position."
Hibbert and his agent David Falk knew the center would land a big offer during free agency after he averaged 12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks a game last season.
They just weren't sure he would get it from the Pacers.
Hibbert had a conference call with the Pacers at 12:01 a.m. on July 1, the first day of free agency. The offer, which Hibbert declined to say, wasn't to their liking. Members of the Portland Trail Blazers front office met with Hibbert at Falk's office in Washington at 1:01 a.m. They offered him a four-year, $58-million deal.
Welcome to Sports Rumor Mill - Sports News & Rumors!
Sports forum & discussion about the latest sports rumors from the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and more. Talk about rumors from your favorite team.
You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user. Sign up or
Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions.