Roy Hibbert Thanks Indiana Pacers Fans in Full-Page Newspaper Ad

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2013

Photo courtesy of thescore.com.
Photo courtesy of thescore.com.

Roy Hibbert has officially pulled a Ray Allen.

No, he's not planning to join the rival Miami Heat—he's not a free agent. Hibbert has, however, taken out a full-page ad to thank the Indiana Pacers fans (h/t theScore.com).

"In a long season with many ups and downs, the one constant was the incredible fans of Indiana," the ad reads.

It's refreshing to see the Pacers faithful finally get some love. This wasn't an easy year for them by any means.

Not only were they forced to endure Hibbert's own inconsistencies and Danny Granger's absence—which may have actually been a blessing in disguise—but they were called out by their own team.

Earlier in the year, George Hill criticized Pacers fans to the Indianapolis Star's Mike Wells for a seeming lack of support following a home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers:

It sucks. It was 70 (Lakers fans), 30 (Pacers fans) out there. These are the same people that want autographs after the game. We’re out there in the community. We’re doing our job, doing what we’re supposed to do on and off the court. Something has to change. I tip my hat to this team. We’ve been trouble-free. Been out in the community shaking hands; we’re winning. It shouldn’t feel like an away game, especially with an important game like this. Tonight, that’s what it felt like.

To Hill's credit, he had a point.

Despite finishing third in the Eastern Conference and eventually pushing the Heat to the brink of postseason elimination, the Pacers ranked 25th in regular-season attendance. They closed out the year behind the Charlotte Bobcats, who were a mere 21-61.

That's depressing.

Indiana's fanatics came out in full force during the NBA playoffs, though, backing a Pacers team that came within one victory of a Finals berth.

Fans were so engaged—the owner's daughter, specifically—that they were liable to swoon whenever Lance Stephenson buried a three-pointer. That's the kind of support Hill was referring to, the kind the Pacers needed.

"Thank you, fans for your unwavering support," Hibbert is quoted as saying in the ad.

And many thanks to Hibbert himself for recognizing that the Pacers faithful are not obsolete and are, in fact, a fierce bunch of proponents.

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