Roy Hibbert has had a rough season on the court for the Los Angles Lakers, shooting just 44.5% from the field while posting the lowest points per game average (6.8) of his eight seasons in the NBA. Additionally, the Lakers have been better defensively with him off the floor, giving up an average of 112.2 points per 100 possessions with Hibbert on the court as opposed to "just" 104 when he is on the bench.
Hibbert's struggles on the court during a contract year have not led to him shirking his off-the-court responsibilities, however. The seven-footer has taken to his role as a veteran mentor for the Lakers' young core with aplomb, supporting them both publicly and privately as they learn the what it takes to succeed in the NBA.
On Tuesday the NBA announced the rosters for the Rising Stars challenge, an All-Star weekend exhibition featuring the best rookies and sophomores from around the league. Young Lakers guards Jordan Clarkson and D'Angelo Russell made the cut, but notably missing from that list was sophomore power forward Julius Randle, a slight Hibbert took to Twitter to disagree with:
Want to congratulate @Dloading and @JClark5on for making to the rookie sophomore game. But it's a travesty that @J30_RANDLE didn't make it.— Roy Hibbert (@Roy_Meets_World) January 28, 2016
Whether one thinks Randle was snubbed or not, it has to be nice for him to feel the support of one of his veteran teammates in a moment that must have been disappointing for him. Even with the second worst record in the NBA, the Lakers locker room has not shown a ton of obvious fractures, which is an encouraging sign for the development of the team's young core.
All stats per NBA.com. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.