Roy Hibbert may not shake hands after losses, but he's not above handing out hugs on Twitter.
On the heels of a Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat, the Indiana Pacers big man took to Twitter to congratulate LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on their victory and to thank them for making him "better."
After the Pacers fell to the Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Hibbert made a beeline for the locker room. He didn't shake hands, give James and friends a high five or thumbs up or applaud the Heat on their NBA Finals berth at all. He just left.
Later, Hibbert explained his decision not to salute Miami to Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star:
I know some of our guys have played on teams with some of them, but I don’t know them personally. It was their moment because they won. I have tremendous respect for them, but I don’t know any of those guys personally and I didn’t want to interrupt their moment.
In hindsight, it seemed like HIbbert was attempting to shield himself from any further criticism. Having just been fined by the league for his derogatory comments following Game 6, the last thing he wanted was the public to perceive him as a sore loser.
Turns out Hibbert put his Twitter handle where his mouth was, publicly paying homage to South Beach's Big Three.
Is Roy Hibbert "better" for having faced the Heat's Big Three?
Neither Bosh, James nor Wade are blushing, though. For one, James is still in full-on playoff mode and not checking social media. Mostly, the Heat have to be afraid of what a "better" Hibbert could look like.
Indiana's tower torched Miami for 22.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and one block per game on 55.7 percent shooting for the series. That's not a level of production the Heat would be thrilled to see him sustain. It would make the going in the Eastern Conference far more onerous than it is already projected to be next season.
Still, credit Hibbert with showing some respect for Miami and its stars.
Then credit the Heat with helping create a two-way monster.