There’s no doubt that the Indiana Pacers season has been crumbling for months now, but it may have reached the apex following their Game 3 loss to the Atlanta Hawks last night. Reports are surfacing out of Atlanta that struggling Pacers center Roy Hibbert has been caught faking his own kidnapping and may face disciplinary action from the team. It’s an all-time low for the 7’2 former All-Star who has received much criticism for his lackadaisical play during the season’s second half and blame for the Pacers’ recent struggles. Head coach Frank Vogel addressed the situation early this morning.
“Late last night, the hotel concierge at the team hotel informed us that a tall, black man wearing sunglasses, a Pacers cap, and a Rik Smits jersey delivered an envelope to the front desk addressed to me.” said Vogel, “After opening it, it became clear that we may have a real problem on our hands.” According to Vogel, the note, which was put together with letters from various magazines, claimed that “Roy Hibbert had been kidnapped and his status for the rest of the playoffs is in great jeopardy unless a large sum of cash was delivered.” However, Pacers personnel quickly caught on to the scheme.
When asked how he determined this was indeed a “fake” kidnapping, Vogel said, “It was pretty obvious. We found it highly suspicious that the amount of money demanded was $30,412,969, or the exact dollar amount remaining on Roy’s contract after this season. It also demanded that the NBA baskets be lowered so a 7’2 man could dunk without jumping and that everybody be nicer to Roy. I have no idea why real kidnappers would even care about that. We thought Roy hit rock bottom when he forgot how to tie his shoes three days ago, but this is unbelievable.”
Reportedly, the Pacers “played along” with the scheme and placed a briefcase in front of the team hotel as the note demanded. When Hibbert came to pick it up this morning, he grabbed the briefcase and attempted to make a run for it. However, he tripped on his shoelaces and was quickly restrained by Luis Scola and Ian Mahinmi. A motive is currently unclear, but the media is speculating that Hibbert planned on collecting his remaining contract and then fleeing overseas to continue his basketball career elsewhere.
Pacers GM Larry Bird was surprised by the whole ordeal when he spoke with the media. “He’s been missing for more than a month. What took him so long to deliver a ransom note?
No fake kidnapping has been successfully executed in the NBA since 2005 when the New York Knicks met into kidnappers demands of 5 years and $30 million for Jerome James.