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#pounditSunday, July 21, 2024

Serge Ibaka calls out his former team in new interview

Serge Ibaka wearing a hat

Jun 7, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka (9) walks into Oracle Arena prior to game four of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Serge Ibaka is not looking back fondly on his time in The Badger State.

The veteran big man Ibaka spoke this week to Shams Charania of Stadium and covered a wide range of topics. One such topic was Ibaka’s former team, the Milwaukee Bucks. The ex-NBA blocks leader proceeded to call out the Bucks for their poor communication with him last season.

“I couldn’t take what was happening anymore,” said Ibaka of the situation in Milwaukee. “No communications … When I go talk to the front office, they tell me different things. They love me, the front office. They want me to be there, they want me to stay. And when I go back on the court, it’s different.

It got to some point where I was like, ‘I cannot take this anymore,'” Ibaka added. “I love this game so much, but if this is going to take my peace of mind, my joy, it’s not worth it. I earned my respect in this league. At least communicate. I’m not asking about playing, just communication.”

You can see the full interview clip with Ibaka below.

The two-time All-Defensive Teamer Ibaka was acquired by the Bucks at the 2022 trade deadline and then signed another contract with them during free agency that summer. But Ibaka ended up making jut 16 total appearances for them in 2022-23, averaging a measly 11.6 minutes per game before being pulled from the rotation entirely by early January. Ibaka was then traded to the Indiana Pacers in a February salary dump and went unsigned for the rest of the year after being waived by the Pacers.

At almost 34 years old, Ibaka has had some clear slippage in his game and might not have been the best option for the Bucks any longer once Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, and Bobby Portis were all healthy. But it sounds like Ibaka’s issue with Milwaukee was not necessarily the not-playing part but rather the not-communicating part. That is a complaint that even Ibaka’s effective replacement recently voiced against the Bucks too.

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