Q+A: Roy Hibbert
The Pacers center talks Parks & Rec, and Indiana’s up-and-coming squad.
by Matt Domino / @PuddlesofMyself
As the NBA kicked off the ‘11-12 season on Christmas Day and I saw all the familiar faces flash across my screen, what made me the most happy was thinking that seeing the Knicks, Celtics, Lakers, Bulls, Heat, Mavericks, Thunder, Magic and Clippers was just scratching the surface of how many great teams there will be to watch this year.
Those nine teams are arguably the most marketable and star-studded teams in the League, but there are plenty of others. Are you not excited to see the crazy mix of talent David Kahn has collected in Minnesota? Don’t you want to see if Randolph and Gasol can continue the magic in Memphis now that Rudy Gay is back from injury? Do the Spurs have one more “one last shot” in them?
Another team you need to watch this year is the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers have quietly made some of the best moves of the offseason and now find themselves with a frighteningly deep team with a young coach who is prepared to think outside the box, which is what navigating the upcoming, compressed 66-game season is going to take. They are a team to watch and have become, in my opinion, must-see television whenever they are on.
I had a chance to talk to Pacers center (and former E720 employee for any Parks and Recreation fans out), Roy Hibbert, about the upcoming season as well as his fantastic acting career so far.
SLAM: How excited are you to start the season?
Roy Hibbert: I’m ecstatic to start the season off. I spent a lot of time in the summer lifting and working out so, uh, I’m just hoping it will come to fruition.
SLAM: Is that what you spent most of your time in the offseason doing?
RH: Yeah I was lifting and working out and I split my time between DC and New York I was working at Georgetown and spending time with the Hoyas basketball team.
SLAM: Did you work out with the team at the school?
RH: Yeah I basically practiced with them. Myself and Jeff Green.
SLAM: That’s great, but you were also pretty busy doing Parks & Rec were you not?
RH: Yeah, I was really happy to be able to be a part of that.
SLAM: I thought you were great on it and I have to say that I thought some of the stuff that you were in was pretty hilarious.
RH: I appreciate that. It’s probably one of the funniest shows and I was really happy to be a part of it. It’s an up and coming show that’s really funny.
SLAM: It’s probably my favorite show. Did you spend much time with the cast or did you have a favorite cast member at all?
RH: Ben Schwartz, he plays Jean Ralphio. He and I were really able to become close friends off set and everything like that. We stay in touch. I went back to L.A. where they film it and I was actually able to go and see his stand up comedy at Upright Citizens Brigade and he’s a real funny guy off and on the set.
SLAM: My favorite scene was the “Jello Shot” scene at E720 with Aziz Ansari, Jean Ralphio and Adam Scott. Did you have a favorite scene?
RH: They were all a lot of fun. Seriously, every scene I had had like one line and it all took hours. I don’t know how those actors do it. I was literally there for 10 hours on set. It’s always been a dream of mine to be on TV for something else besides basketball and I’m really happy that my agent was able to do that, get it set up for me. I don’t know if you heard the story about how I got on the show?
SLAM: No, I didn’t.
RH: I’m an avid TV watcher and I heard that Derrick Rose was supposed to be on The Good Wife. That show takes place in Chicago, so Derrick Rose and Chicago and everything. But my fiancée and I watch The Good Wife and the two main characters happen to be alumni of Georgetown so I said to myself, what if I were able to get on that show. But Derrick beat me to the punch although he actually missed his flight and didn’t get to make it to the filming day to be on the episode. Anyway, I started thinking about what show I’d want to be on that fit my personality so I asked my agent, David Falk, and he reached out to Lorne Michaels and I thought that was crazy and then Lorne put him in contact with the producer of the show. The producer called me and told me that I could be on the show. The day that he called was crazy because it was a day after it had been rumored that I was going to be traded to Minnesota. I was in a room giving away tickets for my group Area 55 and I get a call from my agent. The whole room goes silent because everyone thinks I’m about to be traded, but instead I got the news I was going to be on a TV show.