August and September are typically the two slowest months of the NBA calendar, but for new Lakers center Roy Hibbert, they’ve differed from the regular season months only in that he hasn’t been playing official NBA games.
Hibbert’s been a regular presence at the team’s practice facility, both to work out with strength and conditioning coach Tim DiFrancesco, of late adding some muscle mass to a frame from which he’d already lost 16 pounds at his introductory interview to the Lakers.
He’s also been scrimmaging with many of his new teammates, like D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle, and making the interview rounds, including coming on our own Lakers.com podcast, The Popcorn Machine (with Joey Ramirez), and on ESPN 710 Radio's “Thompson and Trudell” show (former Showtime Laker and current radio analyst Mychal Thompson and, yup, me). Ramirez has you covered on all of the basketball elements to Roy’s last few weeks, so below are a few other areas Hibbert delved into:
“Big fan of the show,” he said. "Topanga was my TGIF Crush back in the day. I tweeted about ‘Boy Meets World’ before, and Ben Savage actually reached out. … She’s married and has kids, so that dream is long gone.”
On T&T, I asked Hibbert what percentage Mychal would shoot at the rim. Hibbert, recognizing Thompson’s prowess as a former No. 1 overall pick and a two-time champ with Magic, Kareem, Big Game, Byron and Co., kept it classy: “Oh man … you’re hitting me with the hardballs. … I’d try to keep it to a very, very low percentage, that’s all I’ll say.”
Mychal then began to talk about the photograph of himself that he keeps in his wallet of him flexing back in the day that he could show to Hibbert as a form of motivation. I cautioned Hibbert to put his headphones on when Mychal tries to approach him on the plane and pretend like he can’t hear him, but Hibbert again played smart/nice and told Thompson he’d look forward to “having that conversation on the plane.”
Hibbert’s also a big wrestling fan, like Mychal.
“Growing up as a kid, I used to watch WWF at the time and The Undertaker was my favorite,” he said. "Me being a tall person, a 7-footer, he was somebody I could relate to. He was always my go-to. Then I met Kane and John Cena, but I really want to meet the WWE Divas.”
We asked Hibbert who’d be the best pro wrestler in the NBA: "Tell you the truth … I’d have to say Blake (Griffin). He could be the heel, he could be the hero. He has the athletic ability and can act as well.”
Thompson suggested Draymond Green, and Hibbert agreed with that as well. I wondered if Minnesota’s Nikola Pekovic would get the job done.
“Pekovic is a very, very strong guy,” Hibbert explained. "I’d just want to make sure whoever got in that ring wouldn’t hurt themselves, and you have to think about that. Vince McMahon wants his superstars out there all the time, so you don’t want anybody getting hurt.”
Finally, we wondered what Hibbert’s been up to when he hasn’t been working out.
“Just walking around (Los Angeles), the vibe is great, and I’m a food guy so L.A. has great option in terms of healthy stuff. Not every city I’ve been in has those options.”