Roy Hibbert, bracing for discipline and backlash after using a homophobic slur in his postgame interview Saturday, reached out to openly gay NBA veteran Jason Collins via Twitter before issuing a public apology through the Indiana Pacers.
Hibbert was questioned about his defense on LeBron James in the 91-77 Indiana Pacers victory over the Miami Heat, which forced a seventh and deciding game Monday in Miami.
"I am apologizing for insensitive remarks made during the postgame press conference after our victory over Miami Saturday night," Hibbert said in a statement issued Sunday morning. "They were disrespectful and offensive and not a reflection of my personal views. I used a slang term that is not appropriate in any setting, private or public, and the language I used definitely has no place in a public forum, especially over live television. I apologize to those who I have offended, to our fans and to the Pacers' organization. I sincerely have deep regret over my choice of words last night."
Hibbert first took offense with media questioning why he finished 10th in Defensive Player of the Year award voting.
"You know what, because y'all mother(expletive) don't watch us play throughout the year, to tell you the truth," Hibbert said. "I don't care if I get fined."
When discussing Game 6 and his defense on James, Hibbert ran afoul again.
"There was Game 3 here that I felt I let Paul (George) down in terms of having his back when LeBron was scoring in the post or getting into the paint because they stretched me out so much - no homo (laughing) - but I want to be there for him," Hibbert said. "I think he has a chance to be MVP of this league next year."
About two hours after that comment, Hibbert reached out to Collins with this Twitter post.
"@jasoncollins34 hey can I get a follow. Would like to discuss something's with you."