Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart (36) moves around Toronto Raptors’ Serge Ibaka (9) in the second half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Thursday, Sept 3, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart (36) moves around Toronto Raptors’ Serge Ibaka (9) in the second half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Thursday, Sept 3, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

‘I am one of yours forever,’ departing Serge Ibaka tells Toronto Raptors fans

Ibaka, a free agent, has signed a two-year, US$19-million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers

He may be leaving Toronto, but Serge Ibaka says he’ll always be a Raptor.

The 31-year-old took to social media Sunday to dole out thanks for his time with the team, saying “the love I have received on this journey I will never forget.”

“I’ve had great teammates, front office and staff next to me. And of course, a fan base that is second to none,” said the post, which accompanied a black and white photo of Ibaka walking off the court and into a plethora of outstretched hands.

“So thank you Toronto. Thank you, Canada. And thank you Raptors. I am one of yours forever. #WeTheNorth.”

His message comes amid multiple reports that Ibaka, a free agent, has signed a two-year, US$19-million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.

The seven-foot forward came to Toronto in a trade with the Orlando Magic in 2017, and played a crucial role in helping the squad win its 2019 championship title.

Ibaka said in his post that he felt “at home from day one.”

“I feel really blessed to have played for this city, these fans, and this organization,” he said.

“It is really a great organization that takes care of its players and I’m thankful that I became an NBA Champion with them.”

In 2017, he signed a three-year, US$65-million contract with the Raptors, cementing his place as Toronto’s centre.

Ibaka averaged 15.4 points per game and 8.2 rebounds a game with the Raptors last season.

He’s also well-known for his off-court personality, the Mafuzzy Chef, who gained notoriety for the YouTube series “How Hungry Are You?” where he cooked unique meals — including fried snake and a sandwich made of bull testicles — for his teammates and other NBA stars.

Hailing from the Republic of Congo, Ibaka was picked 24th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunber in the 2008 NBA draft after spending time playing basketball in Spain.

READ MORE: VanVleet staying with Raptors on 4-year deal

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

NBA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Heath has issued an overdose advisory for Campbell River. If someone has overdosed, administering naloxone can help. File photo
Overdose advisory issued for Campbell River

People using drugs advised to protect themselves

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising five years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Bill C-283 would establish a National Food Waste Awareness Day. File photo
Anti-Food Waste bill introduced by North Island-Powell River MP

Bill would establish awareness day, ask Minister of Agriculture to work towards ending food waste

This 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 was stolen from Black Creek Motors at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, April 11. Photos via blackcreekmotors.com
VIDEO: Thieves steal truck from Black Creek car lot by towing it away

Have you seen a 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 in your neighbourhood in… Continue reading

Police pup in training: Nugget. RCMP photo
Police Service Dog Nugget gets golden opportunity to learn with veteran Gator

Newest recruit to train with Campbell River RCMP service dog and handler

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 total

FILE – People hold signs during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on Saturday, August 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to request federal exemption for simple drug possession

Announcement comes on 5-year anniversary of B.C.’s first public health emergency

(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, FIle)
Rare blood clots ‘may be linked’ to AstraZeneca vaccines: Health Canada

One case of the adverse effect has been reported in Canada

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

A grey whale off the coast of Vancouver Island is being monitored by Canadian and U.S. researchers, as it has developed lesions after being tagged last year. To try and prevent systemic infection from developing, the team administered antibiotics to the whale on March 31 and April 1. (Photo from the NOAA Fisheries website)
Grey whale off Vancouver Island develops lesions after being tagged, researchers monitor its condition

Canadian and U.S. whale experts administered antibiotics to the animal on March 31, April 1

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a box containing doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
EXPLAINER: What’s known about COVID vaccines and rare clots

These are not typical blood clots – they’re weird in two ways

A man sustained burns to his body near this spot around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 13 in Courtenay. The fire was left of the pathway. The Station youth housing facility and city public works yard are to the right of the trail. Photo by Terry Farrell
Man catches fire sleeping while outdoors in downtown Courtenay

Firefighters say man still burning when they arrived after he fell asleep next to his fire

Most Read