During an interview after Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, a 91-77 win for the Pacers, Hibbert made two controversial comments, the first being a gay slur and the second an expletive when criticizing the media.
Hibbert was later fined $75,000 for his statements, per Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
Roy Hibbert has been fined $75,000 for use of "inappropriate and vulgar language" in postgame press conference last night.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) June 2, 2013
Commissioner David Stern expanded on his decision to fine the former Georgetown Hoya, per Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated:
David Stern: "While Roy has issued an apology, which is no doubt sincere, a fine is necessary (cont.)...— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) June 2, 2013
Stern: "to reinforce that such offensive comments will not be tolerated by the NBA."— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) June 2, 2013
I am apologizing for insensitive remarks made during the postgame press conference after our victory over Miami Saturday night. They were disrespectful and offensive and not a reflection of my personal views. I used a slang term that is not appropriate in any setting, private or public, and the language I used definitely has no place in a public forum, especially over live television. I apologize to those who I have offended, to our fans and to the Pacers’ organization. I sincerely have deep regret over my choice of words last night.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel has also spoken about Hibbert's comments, reiterating what his star center said in his statement to the media (per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel):
Frank Vogel today, on Roy Hibbert's Saturday comments, "He obviously made a great mistake.He's very contrite, feels horribly about it."— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) June 2, 2013
The NBA is strict in its evaluation of player behavior, which led to one additional comment (see video):
Pretty sure Roy Hibbert just MF'd me.— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) June 2, 2013
Indeed he did.
Hibbert later reached out to openly gay NBA free-agent big man Jason Collins via Twitter shortly after making the comments, asking for a follow to presumably talk about his statements from earlier in the evening:
@jasoncollins34 hey can I get a follow. Would like to discuss something's with you.— Roy Hibbert (@Hoya2aPacer) June 2, 2013
It's not clear what Hibbert wanted to say to Collins, although the veteran center did grant the Pacers star a follow.
From reporters to current players, the reaction has been mixed. Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry offered this:
What Roy hib say?— Kyle Lowry (@Klow7) June 2, 2013
Hibbert has been sensational against the Miami Heat, topping 20 points in each of his past five games (19 in Game 1). More importantly, he has protected the rim with supreme efficiency, keeping the likes of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade out of the paint.