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OKC Thunder: All-Star snubs seem to motivate Serge Ibaka

The Thunder big man is having a career year, but he won't be going to New Orleans.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: February 8, 2014
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More and more, Ibaka is making a strong case that he was snubbed.

Over the past 14 games, Ibaka is averaging 18.8 points, shooting 62.4 percent with 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 blocks. The Thunder is 12-2 over that span.

When the All-Star starters were announced on Jan. 23, Ibaka scored 21 points with seven rebounds a night later at Boston.

When the All-Star reserves were announced on Jan. 30, Ibaka crafted a 25-point, nine-rebound effort on a 12-for-12 shooting performance the next night at Brooklyn.

And when New Orleans forward Anthony Davis was selected by the league to serve as injured Lakers guard Kobe Bryant's replacement on Friday, Ibaka went out that night and scored 26 points on 10-for-13 shooting at Orlando.

“The most important (thing) for me is when I see my team win,” said Ibaka. “The All-Star, those kind of (things) are good. If they call your name it's good because you put in a lot of work. But when my team is still winning, that's the most important because I don't think nobody will like to be an All-Star and play on a losing team. So my happiness right now is because we are winning. It's making me dream big. Every time we win it's making me dream big.”

Ibaka's statistics trail the competition, but the Thunder has won 18 more games than Davis' Pelicans, 16 more games than Kevin Love's Timberwolves and 10 more games than Dirk Nowitzki's Mavericks.

Each of them will represent their teams in New Orleans.

For now, Ibaka is happy just to hear his name in the conversation.

“I'm proud because when I first got into the league nobody knew me,” Ibaka said. “People just mentioned my name like a big guy who runs the floor and blocks shots. That's it. And right now, it's just amazing, man. People are saying my name (like) an almost All-Star. I've come a long way.”

 

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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