Serge Ibaka Calls His New Basketball Home "Harder" Than The NBA

Unable to find a job in the NBA after 14 seasons, big man Serge Ibaka is now playing in Europe, for Bayern Munich. And after only a short time there, he has declared that playing there is harder than in the NBA.

 “Sometimes in the NBA you can rest a bit on defense because one guy is going one-on-one. Here, it’s not like that. You have to be involved," said Ibaka.

In nine games thus far with Bayern of the German Basketball Bundesliga, Ibaka has posted 11.4 points, 5.9 boards and 1.4 blocked shots in 23 minutes per contest. He's playing with two other former Raptors on the squad, Freddie Gillespie and Isaac Bonga.

In 14 years in the NBA, Ibaka averaged 12 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 27 minutes a night. He has one championship ring, as a key member of the 2019 Toronto Raptors. 

But Ibaka's role quickly diminished after he left Toronto after the 2020 bubble playoffs. He went to the LA Clippers, and then the Milwaukee Bucks, seeing his minutes drop down to just 11.6 per game in only 16 contests last season. 

"European basketball is getting a lot better," Ibaka told BasketNews when asked about the most significant change in European basketball after his first game back in over a dozen years.

"For me, it's even harder to play here than in the NBA."

Photo: Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports