Top NBA Players: #49 Serge Ibaka

Jun 19, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka (9) rebounds against Miami Heat power forward Udonis Haslem (40) during the second quarter in game four in the 2012 NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Serge Ibaka
Resume: 9.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.7 blocks (1st in league), 27.2 minutes, 54% FG (8th in league), and 66% FT… Team record in games played: 47-19… Playoffs: 9.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, 53% FG, 72% FT, 13-7 record… 1st Team All-Defense

What a summer for Serge Ibaka! First Oklahoma City made the NBA Finals, then Spain made the Gold Medal game at the Olympics, he just recently signed a contract extension for nearly 50 million dollars, and now he has climbed from outside the top 100 in last year’s #nbarank on ESPN to 49th on this much more prestigious list. For most men this would be enough to leave them permanently giddy and like myself, call the Summer of 2012 one of the greatest of all time; but Serge wasn’t done. Ibaka’s most impressive accomplishment of the summer was cementing his status as the top “Serge” of all-time. Actually, that wasn’t too difficult. Prior to writing this I didn’t know of one other real life Serge, so I did some research…

Top 5 Serge’s of All-Time

5: Serge Gainsbourg- Best known for being a singer, songwriter, poet, composer, artist, actor, director, fortune teller, baseball umpire and train conductor. Okay, the last three I made up. In reality, Gainsbourg would probably be higher than fifth considering Wikipedia says “he is often regarded as one of the world’s most influential popular musicians.” It’s my made up list though, and I can do what I want.

4: Serge Blanco- Best known for being a Rugby Hall of Famer, and currently owning three hotels, a brand of sportswear and 8 Bengal tigers. Okay, he doesn’t have any tigers, but in all seriousness he does own the record for most tries scored for France (38). Don’t ask me what a “try” is.

3: Serge Nubret- Best known for being Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biggest competition in the 1975 Mr. Olympia Competition. Like Arnold, Nubret also starred in a number of films both before and after his body building career.

2: Serge from Beverly Hills Cop: Best known for being a scene stealer in one of the best Action-Comedy movies ever.  I implore you to watch the movie if you haven’t seen it.

1: Serge Ibaka: Best known for being the Oklahoma City Thunder’s starting power forward, averaging more blocks (3.65 per game) than anyone since the 2000-01 season (Theo Ratliff, 3.74 per game), racking up 3 double digit block games this past season, being the perfect complement to Thunder center Kendrick Perkins and for going a perfect 11 for 11 shooting in game four of the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs, which would be one of the flukiest performances of all-time if announcers weren’t always gushing about how at Thunder practices Ibaka is the only teammate of Kevin Durant who can come close to winning a shooting competition.

So the question becomes why does the greatest Serge of all-time, who also happens to be the NBA’s most devastating shot blocker, only come in at 49th on the list? Well, he still has a long way to go in his offensive development. It’s evident that Ibaka has a nice outside touch, but his offensive game is far from polished. The good news for Thunder fans is that Ibaka is only 22 years old. Over time as he is continuing to build on his resume as the Greatest Serge of All-Time, he’ll most likely develop a more extensive offensive repertoire too.