Of all of the Los Angeles Lakers acquisitions this off-season, none will have more pressure on him than center Roy Hibbert. A two-time All-Star, Hibbert’s play has fallen off over the last two seasons leading many to question his mental toughness.
If there is one player who will test out the mental capacity of his teammates, it is Kobe Bryant and some wonder how Hibbert and Kobe will work together. For his part, Hibbert admitted to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes that playing with Kobe will be a challenge, but he is up for it:
It’ll be a challenge. But I’m up for it. I’m not going to speculate on other people and how they interacted with him and their relationships, but I feel like if I put my best foot forward in practices and in games, I don’t feel like there will be any tension.”
One thing that Kobe has always been clear about is that he expects 100 percent from all of his teammates and Hibbert will definitely give him that. At his peak, Hibbert was the best rim protector in the NBA and he is hoping to re-discover that form in Los Angeles. Perhaps some tough love from Kobe will help Hibbert achieve that.
Hibbert has clear goals on what he expects from himself this season and what he hopes to bring to the Lakers. Kobe will definitely push Hibbert to achieve his goals and if that allows him to get back to his pre All-Star Game form from 2013, both the Lakers and Hibbert will be huge beneficiaries.[divide]