Roy Hibbert has been given a fresh start playing in Los Angeles this upcoming season, but will he be able to play in the bright lights and for a demanding leader in Kobe Bryant.
Hibbert is known to play through dry spells and mental droughts, but the legend that is ‘Kobe’ he will need to develop a tougher mindset to anchor the middle for the Lakers.
The two time NBA All-Star spoke with ESPN’s Baxter Holmes on playing with the Mamba.
“Just being able to play with a great (and) being pushed by somebody that has done it and won five championships. I’m up for a challenge,” Hibbert told ESPN’s Baxter Holmes. “People tell me a lot of different things, how he’ll respect me, and I feel like if I go about my business, I can get it done.
“So, it’ll be a challenge. But I’m up for it. I’m not going to speculate on other people and how they interacted with him and their relationships, but I feel like if I put my best foot forward in practices and in games, I don’t feel like there will be any tension. And I’m the type of person that will be like, ‘Hey, if I did something, let’s talk it out,’ as opposed to just going back and forth every day.”
The former Hoya will be expected to produce at the center position like Laker greats before him.
Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, and now Roy Hibbert?
Maybe he’s not up to par yet, more likely to never be. However, if he can protect the middle and use his wingspan for shot-blocking and getting double digit rebounds that might please Bryant.
A change scenery might help Hibbert get his confidence back to play with possibly the greatest Laker ever.