However, Ibaka's noted failure in making this year's team could help him in the future because players previously viewed as overlooked often gain extra consideration.
Only 23, Ibaka has quickly gained notoriety and respect throughout the league.
- He's been a participant in the NBA slam dunk contest, where he was viewed as being underscored.
- He led the league in blocked shots the previous two seasons and ranks second this year.
- He finished runner-up to All-Star Tyson Chandler for NBA defensive player of the year last season.
- On ESPN.com's list of the Top 25 players under age 25, Ibaka was No. 7, ahead of No. 8 Kevin Love, No. 9 Brook Lopez and No. 10 Curry. Durant was No. 1 and Westbrook was No. 2, followed by Griffin, Harden, Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving.
Accomplishments such as these will only strengthen Ibaka's chances at becoming an All-Star if his performance is deemed worthy.
Also beneficial is Ibaka staying with the upstart Thunder, with whom he agreed to a four-year, $49-million contract extension last August.
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