Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert has been playing his best basketball of late against the Washington Wizards. Hibbert’s improved play is one of the reasons the Pacers have an 3-1 advantage over the Wizards.
Hibbert was a non factor in the first half of Game 4 only scoring 2 points, but in the second half he turned it around. He helped spark a run in the third quarter in which he scored nine of the Pacers’ next 11 points. It was part of a 15-2 run which tied the game and the Pacers would end up winning 95-92. After the game Hibbert was asked what changed from the first half to second half. Hibbert said that he was motivated by a Wizards fan who was heckling him.
“He woke me up,” Hibbert said in the Pacers locker room. “He said I was tired. He was saying a lot of obscenities. I’m a God fearing man so I’m not going into saying what he was saying…He got me going and I let him hear [me].”
That heckler turned out to be Robin Ficker who is the reason why the NBA changed their policy on fan behavior. Ficker showed up after not going to a game in 16 years and later explained what he said to Hibbert.
“I was talking to Roy [Hibbert] and telling me that he looked very tired, he looked like my bicycle — two-tired — and he needed a rest and he needed to take a nap,” Ficker said. “I had my dry erasable board; I was trying to send message to him there, writing that he looked too tired and that he needed to take a nap. Then I told him that he should do maybe what his mother would suggest, seeing as how it was Mother’s Day, and that was to take a nice hot bath with his favorite toy. And luckily I had my granddaughter Beau’s little rubber ducky with me, I said you could put this in the bath with you Roy and just relax like your mom would tell you and maybe take a nice nap.”
Wow. How fitting that after 16 years of not going to a NBA game, you decided to show up to a pivotal game 4 and heckler one of their star players into a big game. Ficker might need to think about staying away a little longer.