Serge Ibaka was beloved in the city of Toronto.
Serge Ibaka made the very difficult decision to leave the Toronto Raptors, yesterday. Ibaka became a free agent on Friday night and it seemed as though he was contemplating between the Raptors, Los Angeles Clippers, Lakers, and even the Brooklyn Nets. In the end, however, Ibaka felt that the Clippers were his best bet as now, he will get to rejoin the likes of Kawhi Leonard, whom he won a title with back in 2019.
Following the decision, Raptors fans were quite sad although they ultimately understood that sports are a business and that Ibaka has to do what is best for him. Ibaka himself was feeling sentimental about his time in Canada and took to Instagram, where he thanked the fans and the franchise for everything they did for him.
"How to explain what Toronto, Canada, and the Raptors mean to me? I was welcomed to a new country and a new team more than three years ago and I felt at home from day one. I feel really blessed to have played for this city, these fans, and this organization. The love I have received during this journey I will never forget. I want to thank Larry Tanenbaum and MLSE and the whole Toronto Raptors organization. It is really a great organization that takes care of its players and I'm thankful that I became an NBA Champion with them. I've had great teammates, front office and staff next to me. And of course, a fan base that is second to none. So thank you Toronto. Thank you, Canada. And thank you Raptors. I am one of yours forever. #wethenorth"
Now, Ibaka will get to play on one of the most prominent contenders in the Western Conference. Winning a title will be a difficult task, but Ibaka certainly has the championship pedigree in order to give the Clippers a solid chance.