Taj Gibson’s comments about the Pacers being “floppers” didn’t go unnoticed.
The Bulls’ sixth man, after being disqualified from Friday night’s loss at Indiana, used the term to describe what he perceived to be the Pacers’ tactics. Following the Pacers’ shootaround Monday morning at the United Center, the visitors to Chicago responded.
Pacers’ All-Star center Roy Hibbert, after learning that it was Gibson who labeled his team as such, yelled over to veteran power forward David West, “Hey, that’s who said it, ‘D-West!’ He [a reporter] said Taj called us floppers!”
West, in turn, muttered a profanity, then said, “Soft.”
Hibbert then turned his attention back to the media.
“I mean, I haven’t taken a charge in probably four years. He’s entitled to his opinion. I’m just going to go out there and play hard,” he said. “I think that he just got a couple fouls so he probably was a little frustrated. But I expect him not to be in foul trouble tonight and playing well.”
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“Yeah, we take pride [in defense]. We had some ups and downs with our defensive numbers. But we’re getting back on track, holding teams to a certain percentage. That’s how we play ‘D,’” continued Hibbert, known for his utilization of the NBA’s verticality rule. “I don’t think we flop. There are teams out there that we know flop. But I think he [Gibson] knows in his heart that we’re not floppers.”
Pacers head coach Frank Vogel, when asked about Gibson’s remarks, wouldn’t take the bait.
“Yeah, I saw the comments,” he said. “I don’t have any further comment.”