Serge Ibaka didn’t get a ton of minutes in London, and there were a lot of questions why he was on the bench when the Gasols got into foul trouble throughout the tournament. After all, this was the runner-up to Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA (contain your giggles). There were reports that Ibaka was upset and could be done with playing for the country who helped foster his career and eventual leap to the NBA. But Ibaka told Marca in an interview translated by HoopsHype that he’s not at all done with playing for Spain in the Olympics.
Serge Ibaka: “I don’t want to leave the National Team, I will play with Spain if they ask me to. I feel very proud about playing with Spain.”
Ibaka’s likely in a nicer mood since he just got his massive extension. But it was good that he got out in front of this. No sense in having it dragged back up in three years when talk of Rio begins. Pau Gasol may very well not be participating in those games, and he’ll have more experience and a wider skillset to bring to the table. It’s unlikely that Ibaka will have the difficulty in getting minutes he did this summer.
And besides, blocks!