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

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, prepares a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Almost two in three Canadians surveyed recently said they trust COVID-19 vaccines to be both safe and effective. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Northern Health to open 30 COVID vaccine clinics for oldest residents, Indigenous seniors

Health authority says it plans to vaccinate nearly 15,000 people in Phase Two

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available by appointment only from March 10 to 12 and March 15 to 19 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Bella Coola General Hospital (file photo)
COVID vaccinations open to Valley residents as of March 10

Starting today all residents of the Bella Coola Valley 18+ can book their vaccination appointments

Jovin Walkus and Alayah Mack enjoy the Centennial Pool in summer 2020. (Geneva Walkus photo)
CCRD receives more funding for Centennial Pool project

The total funding for the project is now over $4 million

Provincial funding in the amount of $300,000 has been announced for the Cariboo Regional District’s plans to improve the Anahim Lake Airport runway. (CRD photo)
$300,000 provincial funding to fuel Anahim Lake Airport runway upgrade

The recovery grant is one of 38 announced to support jobs in rural communities

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read