Roy Hibbert’s playing days may be behind him, but the big man is taking to the coaching ranks.
The former All-Star is joining the Philadelphia 76ers as a player-development coach. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, this is a new position.
Hibbert last appeared in the NBA during the 2016-17 season, when he played sparingly with the Charlotte Hornets and Denver Nuggets after appearing in 81 games for the Los Angeles Lakers the previous year.
Once a promising center
After being drafted 17th overall in 2008 by the Toronto Raptors and being traded to the Indiana Pacers on draft day, Hibbert blossomed into a formidable center. He ended his nine seasons averaging 10 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.
But Hibbert’s career saw a precipitous drop from his All-Star days with the Pacers, where he averaged double figures for six straight seasons and was one of the best defensive big men in the league.
He was traded to the Lakers in 2015, and as the center position became increasingly fazed out of the game, Hibbert’s 7-foot-2, 270-pound frame was not valued as much as it would have been a decade ago.
A few years after being named an All-Star during the 2013-14 season and helping the Pacers to back-to-back Eastern Conference finals appearances, the 32-year-old found himself out of the league.
Still, there is plenty he can offer as a coach. The Sixers have a couple of talented big men in Joel Embiid and Al Horford, and Hibbert can also work with younger big men to provide guidance and perspective based off his career.
Hibbert’s name popping back up is a reminder of how certain players can adapt to a changing league and how others are fazed out as their skillsets are no longer valued. Horford, at age 33, is older than Hibbert. And yet, the former is still making millions while the latter appears to have given up on playing.
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