Not so long ago, Serge Ibaka was recognized as one of the best rim protectors in the NBA.
Now, he’s not even in the league.
According to a report by Marc Mundet (via Ball Don’t Lie), the former star is now headed to Germany to sign with Bayern Munich.
— Ball Don’t Lie (@Balldontlie) September 14, 2023
Ibaka’s NBA journey started at a young age.
Born in the Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, he broke out overseas playing in Spain before taking his talents to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2009.
He formed a formidable core alongside fellow rising stars Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, even reaching the NBA Finals once.
The Thunder traded Harden to have enough money to sign Ibaka to a contract extension, as they already had two elite scorers and ball-handlers and needed someone who could protect the paint.
Ibaka paid them back by leading the league in blocks twice and making three All-Defensive teams before being traded to the Orlando Magic.
He wasn’t there for long, though, and he wound up helping the Toronto Raptors win their very first NBA championship shortly after.
Ibaka later signed with the Los Angeles Clippers, but his playing time kept going down before he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks as a part of a four-team trade.
The former Defensive Player of the Year candidate struggled to find playing time towards the sunset of his NBA career, so it’s only natural to see him taking his talents back overseas if he feels like he can still play at an elite level at 33 years old.
He leaves the NBA with career averages of 12.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game.
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