Roy Hibbert, who recently transformed from an all-pro center into the NBA's biggest and suckiest punching bag, somehow managed to stop sucking last night. In 33 minutes against the Wizards, Hibbert scored 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and once again started looking like a functional basketball player. So what precipitated the turnaround? A really chill fishing trip with his buds, obviously.
The photo above was posted to Paul George's Instagram the day after the Pacers got smoked by the Wizards in Game 1. It was accompanied by a caption: "These rumors have got to stop! Its gettin old now and all you that believe them are ignorant!#Brothers." (The "rumors" George might be referring to are the ones going around the internet claiming that George boned Hibbert's wife.)
After the game, Hibbert credited the fishing expedition for his improved performance:
"I seriously believe that the biggest person that helped me out here tonight was Paul," Hibbert said, a statement made more meaningful by the fact that the Pacers have been dealing with rumors of chemistry problems. "We fished for about two hours and just relaxed and didn't talk about basketball. We just talked about life and tried to catch some bass. He reached out and got my mind off things and this is hopefully something I can build on. He's a great teammate, so I really do appreciate him reaching out 'cause he didn't have to."
Relaxing, catching bass, and talkin' about life does sound like a pretty good time. In the past two days, we've learned that fishing trips and weepy, public praise of teammates are apparent performance enhancers. The first playoff team to combine the two will probably run the table.