It is no secret that Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert had a trying end to the 2013-14 NBA season. After earning All-Star honors and emerging as a Defensive Player of the Year favorite over the first few months, Hibbert sputtered after the break and into the postseason, enduring four zero-point performances in the playoffs and a lot of criticism.
Hibbert entered the offseason hoping to reclaim his once lofty status and called upon Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to serve as a personal instructor. Kareem, who helped Andrew Bynum during his best days with the Los Angeles Lakers, figured to help Hibbert develop post moves and increase his chances at becoming a more dependable scorer for a Pacers team in need of added firepower.
All evidence indicates that he did just that. But Hibbert also said at Pacers Media Day on Monday that they watched 'ninja movies' together (via PBT):
Hibbert said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also helped him mentally. Kareem joined Roy at his home for ninja movies. Seriously.
— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) September 29, 2014
I think we can assume that Hibbert means kung fu movies in the style of Bruce Lee and similar martial artists. If that's the case, then it was a good idea for both Hibbert and Abdul-Jabbar to go in this direction, because kung fu movies are awesome. Have you seen "The 36th Chamber of Shaolin"? Come for the Wu-Tang Clan connection, stay for everything else.
Or maybe KAJ had more complicated lessons to impart to his young apprentice. In the late '70s, Abdul-Jabbar took a part in the unfinished Bruce Lee vehicle "Game of Death," in which he plays a sunlight-averse fighter. Hibbert is no stranger to film and TV either, having guest-starred on NBC's "Parks and Recreation." It could be that Abdul-Jabbar wanted to teach him about the things a 7-footer can do in film. You don't have to play yourself!
Of course, we can guess that Kareem wasn't much interested in telling Hibbert how to respond to critics. Otherwise he would've shown him that scene from "Airplane".
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