Thursday, the Milwaukee Bucks finalized a trade that will send struggling center Miles Plumlee to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for a pair of veteran seven-footers, Roy Hibbert and Spencer Hawes. The deal frees up some salary for Milwaukee, who signed Plumlee to a four-year, $50M contract prior to this season. Comparatively, 30-year-old Hibbert midway through a one-year deal worth $5M. Hawes is in the final year of his contract, though the journeyman has a player option for 2017-18.
In reality, this transaction (along with Milwaukee’s associated decision to waive former Marquette great Steve Novak to free up a roster spot) was a case of two sub-.500 organizations shaking up their benches and shifting money around as they plan for next season. The Bucks get some size this year, then cap space this offseason. The Hornets secure a bigman for the next three-plus seasons for a fairly affordable price. Really, there’s nothing all that interesting about this trade. That is, unless the fact that two players involved in this deal appeared on Parks & Recreation interests you.
Between 2011 and 2013, Hibbert appeared in three episodes the wonderful NBC comedy. The then-Indiana Pacers star played himself, with two cameos as an employee of Tom Haverford’s short-lived “Entertainment 720” startup. During those first two appearances, Hibbert—who is tied with Detlef Schrempf for most athlete credits in the show’s history—helped Jean-Ralphio dunk. He called Ben Wyatt “Jell-O Shot.” He served party guests hard-to-reach shrimp cocktails. He was actually pretty good, at least by pro athlete standards.
In his third and final instance of Parks & Rec screen time, Hibbert dropped by Wyatt and Ron Swanson’s shared bachelor party to cover the group’s bill at an Indianapolis steakhouse. In the 20-second appearance during an episode called “Two Parties,” Hibbert was accompanied by a Pacers teammate. Who’s the bookish giant lurking silently in the background at St. Elmo Steakhouse? That’s right. Miles Plumlee.
In essence, the Milwaukee Bucks traded a guy with an uncredited Parks & Recreation cameo for guy with a recurring Parks & Recreation role. Unless Gary Payton and Ray Allen were both on an episode of Wings we missed, this prime time transaction could be an NBA first.
Since that episode, both players have bounced around the league. Hibbert went from borderline superstar to veteran bench presence. Plumlee never quite made good on the promise his Duke pedigree and first round selection offered. At this point, they might both be expendable pieces swapped by losing teams with an eye on the future. But they’ll always have those 20 seconds together on one of modern television’s greatest comedies.
And while we’re on the subject, here’s Hibbert on The Eric Andre Show.