Serge Ibaka gave up ego to complete rehab in the G League

Serge Ibaka gave up ego to complete rehab in the G League

For the NBA champion, who has made nearly $ 130 million in 13 seasons, this strategy was not up to par.

Except that it was largely due to the book.

When Serge Ibaka returned to the Clippers earlier this month for the first time since back surgery in June, the team did not roll out the red carpet in coach Tyrone Liu’s rotation. With Ivica Zubac installed as the starting center and invited to the training camp by Isaiah Hartenstein as an integral reserve, Ibaka played eight minutes on November 7 and another five minutes on November 9.

Rather than sticking to a diet of lean minutes, Ibaka asked to be sent to the Ontario-based development league of the franchise, Agua Caliente Clippers, where more options were expected.

Ibaki’s plea demanded that he cast aside selfishness and pride in order to move back in the NBA hierarchy in order to move forward in his recovery.

“One of the main reasons I decided to play G League was reading this book called Ego is the Enemy,” Ibaka said. “I don’t know if you are familiar with this book. This really is one of the main reasons why I decided to play there for a while.

“As a player, I have been in the league for 13 years and have never been in the G league before. I could just wait. I could just wait and play the five minutes I had and try to figure it out, but this book really helped me make the decision to go play the G League and everything will be fine. “

Ibaka is betting that his stay in four games in which he averaged 15.5 points on 43% shots, 9.3 rebounds and, most importantly to regaining his fitness, 27.3 minutes, will be just the beginning. in a seasonal story of personal design. rebound. He is expected to return to the Clippers this weekend when they play Dallas on Sunday in the first of a two-game series rematch of last season’s seven-game playoff opener, a streak in which Ibaka barely Lee was featured before the “disk cleanup” operation, he said in September. Looking back, he said he would have done it earlier.

“A lot of things happened in the past year, a lot of information,” Ibaka said earlier this month. “I don’t need to speak now. I don’t want to make some people look bad about what happened last year, and now I’m fine. Most importantly, I’m fine and back, so I learned a lesson from this. I’m sure we all have learned from this. “

Ibaka and the Clippers have firmly stated that it was the center that decided to play Agua Caliente. Lu said that Ibaka said that he “feels good and that is the most important thing.” Ibaka, who was in jail for almost the last three months of last season, admitted to hearing “some commentary making fun of me” about the unusual recovery path for a player with his status, saying that such critics “don’t understand.”

“I think a lot of players can use this example in this situation if you don’t play,” Ibaka said. “At least if you are Kawhi [Leonard] or Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry, those guys they can sit for three years and they come back, [teams are] give them minutes, they give them – they try to instill confidence in them.

“At least if you’re one of these guys, you can stay, but if you’re not one of those guys, one of those names, sometimes you have to work for yourself to gain confidence, because no one is going to give it to you. “

Liu’s allocation of minutes in the reserve center was a topic the coach did not want to discuss on the Friday before the defeat in New Orleans that drove the Clippers to 9-7. But he has said in the past that he doesn’t want to play Hartenstein and Ibaku together. In Ibaki’s two games with the Clippers this season, Liu gave up all spare minutes in the first half before coming out with a hotter hand after half-time.

Striker Nicholas Batum said Ibaka will bring resilience, defense and shooting.

Taking Hartenstein out of rotation is not an idea the Clippers love. When he and backup defenders Luke Kennard and Terence Mann play together, the Clippers are 18.3 points ahead of their opponents per 100 possessions; the team’s average score is plus -4.7 points, according to the NBA’s Glass Cleaning statistics database.

“If Serge plays great, he will play for many minutes,” Liu said. “This is how I train. So, you know, I think, like you said, going down to the G league and trying to figure yourself out, timing right is huge, especially for an NBA champion, for a guy who has made a lot of money throughout his career.

“13-year-old veterinarian to get into the G league to prove he wants to come back and be right when he comes back. It means a lot for our team and our organization. “

Even if Ibaki’s role isn’t guaranteed, Paul George believes that adding another healthy option to a team worn out by exhaustion will only help.

“It does a lot, we have a lot of guys who play for many minutes and do a lot all the time,” said George. “This is a relief, you know, it will release a lot of tension. Physically, emotionally, mentally. Just keep another body there. “



When: 12:30, Sunday

On air: TV: Bally Sports SoCal; Radio: 570, 1220

Update: Dallas star Luca Doncic missed his second game in a row on Friday with a sprained left ankle and left knee. The Mavericks lost Friday in Phoenix, dropping coach Jason Kidd’s squad to 9-6. There are 3-5 of them on the road this season.

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