Roy Hibbert is a giant doofus whose sole marketable skill is his ability to raise his arms above his head without falling over. Inconceivably, this once made him the greatest threat to LeBron James’s championship aspirations, but nowadays he is a great big sad hat stand with six fouls to give, and so of course he is on the Lakers.
Trevor Booker is a much smaller doofus who deploys his balsa-wood skeleton with tremendous enthusiasm and not much skill for the Utah Jazz. What I am saying here is that this is not exactly Ali-Frazier we are talking about.
In last night’s preseason game between their respective teams, Hibbert did not appreciate Booker being rough with Julius Randle. Because Hibbert is a broadly disliked goober trying to rehabilitate his career with the downtrodden Lakers, he decided to do “leadership” in response; in this case, he stood up for his teammate via the NBA fake-fight thing where you lean into a dude and mutter at him—sometimes with forehead-to-forehead touching action!—in an aggressive-ish manner until the referee pushes you apart. I do not think he was expecting hands. Hands are what he received!
The—what? punch? slap?—mostly missed, but man, that look on Hibbert’s face just after it. That is a great “Hey!” face. You broke kayfabe! Not cool man! Even if the blow didn’t quite connect to the jaw, it got him where it counts. In the feelings.
Booker followed up this mighty blow in the manner of all NBA tough guys: by moonwalking as far away as he could. Hibbert retaliated by pretending to pursue him, while pretending to find humor in having been clocked in the face. College basketball cheerleading routines are more spontaneous than this. NBA fights are the stupidest.
Photo via AP