Serge Ibaka’s infamous calf injury was the main talking point of the 2014 Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs, a series in which the silver and black won 4-2 in a thrilling Game six in OKC.
Despite being declared ‘out for the remainder of the playoffs’ by Oklahoma City, Ibaka made his dramatic return in game three to help the Thunder defeat the Spurs. However, his production would not be a key factor for OKC the rest of the series.
Recently, Ibaka spoke to Bleacher Report about his offseason and the 24-year-old revealed a lesson the Spurs taught him about the game of basketball.
From Bleacher Report:
“Everybody knows who’s really the man on the team—Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili—but when they play, they don’t really care who’s going to score,” Ibaka said. They just make extra passes for no reason. One time I remember [in the conference finals], Ginobili was going up for a wide-open layup, but he still passed the ball.
It’s the perfect way for every team to play.”
The Spurs taught everyone a lesson during their run to a fifth NBA championship.
Playing the game is not about one single player padding their stats or leading their team to victory, instead it is about how every person on the team contributes to the success. For San Antonio, from Duncan, Parker and Ginobili to Aron Baynes – fans and the world saw every player on the Spurs roster hit the floor at some point during the season.
That is what basketball is all about. Teamwork and playing as a team can mean great success.