The bitterness of a hard-fought defeat was probably still stinging for Roy Hibbert when he reached the locker room after his Indiana Pacers had fallen to the Portland Trail Blazers on Dec. 2.
Of course, he was also suffering from the dull ache caused by LaMarcus Aldridge's repeated knees to the groin.
Based on his postgame tweets to Aldridge, it's safe to assume that the low blows were bothering him a little more:
Aldridge was quick to respond, probably because nobody (other than Karl Malone, of course) wants to be known for delivering shots to opponents' jewels:
@Hoya2aPacer lol bro I don't do it on purpose I'm just a one leg jumper so that's how I jump. I don't play dirty. Real talk— Lamarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) December 3, 2013
Hibbert readily accepted Aldridge's explanation, halting the momentum of the discussion before it could reach "beef" status:
@aldridge_12 I believe u bro. We both competing hard. Tough post moves. Good luck in the West. We will see each other in the finals.— Roy Hibbert (@Hoya2aPacer) December 3, 2013
There's no question that Aldridge caught Hibbert in a particularly painful spot more than once in the Blazers' 106-102 victory. The most cringe-inducing incident came with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Aldridge spun to the baseline, losing his primary defender, David West. Hibbert was there to help, sliding over expertly and establishing his precious "verticality" as Aldridge elevated. As the Blazers forward extended to the rim, his knee caught Hibbert squarely below the belt. Ouch.
Worst of all, Hibbert was assessed a foul. Double ouch.
Two things bear mentioning before closing the book on this exchange. First, Hibbert is a slow learner. After Shane Battier did this to him last season, you'd have thought Indy's big man would have already invested in a Shock Doctor to protect himself.
And second, the Shock Doctor is a thing that actually exists. Here's to free publicity!