When the Lakers acquired center Roy Hibbert this summer, it didn’t exactly trigger celebrations across the city of Los Angeles.
Hibbert shed a considerable amount of weight during the offseason—a tacit acknowledgement of the NBA trending towards small-ball—and says he was happy to sacrifice roughly $2 million in order to join the Purple and Gold.
Per the LA Times:
When asked if they had heard from Kobe Bryant, all three players were awkwardly silent for 10 seconds before another question was asked. […] Bryant bore the brunt of the discomfort, the obvious implication that he hadn’t greeted them warmly. Or at all.
“I think he caught a lot of flak for no reason,” Hibbert said in retrospect. “He was overseas in China, I guess for a while, doing what he was doing. He’s reached out to me and we talked. […] It was funny, I guess, looking back. Ten seconds. I just told him, ‘I’ll be ready on the defensive end to help whatever way I can.’ He was all about that. I will say that.”
A financial sacrifice was also required from Hibbert, a rarity in a league where salaries and TV deals keep getting more lucrative. He agreed to take only $100,000 of his $2.3-million trade kicker so the Lakers could also sign free agents Lou Williams and Brandon Bass. […] “In the long run, it was a no-brainer,” Hibbert said. “If I were to say I wanted my $2 million and the trade couldn’t get done, I would have been back in Indy and wouldn’t have gotten that $2 million anyway. I would have had to basically fight an uphill battle just to try and get on the court. Hopefully I can make that [money] up in the long run if I do well.”