Players are people. Accept that as true, and you won’t find it difficult to understand why Serge Ibaka thinks like a person.
Ibaka has had a down year on both sides of the floor, seeing his counting numbers fall to lower levels than they have in four years and watching his defensive impact dip in the process. But Ibaka, who has played a less integral offensive role under new coach Billy Donovan, is only human.
He explained as much to the Oklahoman‘s Anthony Slater.
“I’m gonna tell you the truth, it’s hard sometimes when you play hard, you play you’re (butt off),” Ibaka swore, before apologizing and rephrasing. “You play so hard on defense, then you come to offense and you’re going to be out there in the corner for 4, 5, 6, sometimes 8 minutes and you don’t touch the ball. We human, man. It’s hard.”
Conspiracy theorists could interpret this as a swipe at Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. They are, after all, the facilitators responsible for getting the ball to Ibaka and whomever else is on the floor. But Westbrook and Durant have been teammates with Ibaka over the course of all his peaks and valleys — ever since he entered the NBA in 2009.