Hibbert stands by Battier comments
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI – Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert is not backing down from the Miami Heat, and he’s not back down from his Twitter comment, accusing Shane Battier of a deliberate knee to Hibbert’s midsection.
At the Pacers’ Friday morning shootaround, he stood by his Tweet.
“I’m just going to be there to protect the paint,” Hibbert said. “I wasn’t whining. I was just saying it was a play that I personally thought it wasn’t a regular shooting motion for a layup. … No matter what I’m going to be there. It’s playoff basketball. We’re tough guys. We’ll keep playing.
“I read something where someone said it was inadvertent. I was calling shenanigans on that”
Late Thursday afternoon, after awaking from a nap, Hibbert Tweeted, “U can knee or kick me every time u drive 2the rim. Ill be there 2protect the rim. That wasn’t inadvertent. Battier knew what he was doing.”
He said he considered retaliation but realized the Pacers needed him on the court and not in the locker room because of an ejection.
The incident happened with 2:47 left in the first quarter of Miami’s 103-102 Game 1 overtime victory on Wednesday. Hibbert fell the floor and stayed there for about 12 seconds.
“I did hurt. A lot,” Hibbert said.
Hibbert said Battier’s knee got him in the kidney area on his right side, but added he will continue to put his “family jewels” in harm’s way.
“They pay me all this money. I’ve gotta be there. It’s my job,” Hibbert said. “Their mentality is, ‘You hit him now, he’s going think about putting his body in the line of fire again.’ I have no problem doing that.”
Battier, one of the first Heat players to leave the practice facility after shootaround, did not meet with news reporters Friday morning. By the time Miami’s media relations staffers got to the locker room, Battier and Heat forward Chris Andersen were gone.
The Heat and Pacers got into verbally and physically during last year’s conference semifinals. Even before last year’s series began, Vogel was fined $15,000 for calling Miami “the biggest flopping team in the NBA.”