In the G League, Clippers big man appears to be his old self


In the G League, Clippers big man looks like his old self

On November 7, Serge Ibaka made his long-awaited return to the Los Angeles Clippers, and it was clear he had work to do.

He went 0-for-3 from the field with five fouls in eight minutes of action against the Hornets.

Ibaka described his time on the court as “rough” following the game.

When he threw another goose egg in six minutes against the Blazers the next time out, things didn’t appear to be getting any better.

But it’s clear that he’s willing to go to any length to get back on his feet.

On November 11, Ibaka did something he had never done before in his NBA career, dating back to 2009.

In the G League, he dressed for a game.

While the early results were mixed, he looked like himself two nights later when the Agua Caliente Clippers came to visit the Stockton Kings on Sunday.

Ibaka scored 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting and 2-of-3 shooting from three-point range in 27 minutes on the court.

In the 103-82 victory, he also had 10 rebounds and five assists.

Ibaka volunteered for the job.

While some in his position might have scoffed at the idea of spending time with the affiliate club, Ibaka is a unique breed.

He had specifically requested a ticket to the province of Ontario.

“He said right now the game is a little fast for him, so he wanted to go down to the G League and just play and get reps, get his conditioning up, get his timing,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said, according to the Press-Telegram.

Although vets accepting G League time on their way back to the NBA isn’t uncommon, Lue said he had never seen it happen with a player who had already returned to their NBA team.

And Ibaka’s desire to do so influenced him.

“You know you’ve got a true professional when he’s a 13-year vet.”

“It was good to see him just trying to do what he could to get back and help us out in any way he could,” he said.

“I’ve seen it before,” Lue added, “when guys are practicing and just trying to get familiar with the game after not playing in a while.”

“However, to come and play a couple of games and then leave…

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