Serge Ibaka said after the Olympics that he was “angered” with the lack of playing time he received on Spain and wasn’t sure if he wanted to continue playing for them in the future.
Pau Gasol came out and said that Spain needed Ibaka for the future. With himself and his brother Marc Gasol getting older, Ibaka would be one of the core players the Spanish National team would build around going forward.
“I don’t want to leave the National Team,” Ibaka told Marca.com. “I will play with Spain if they ask me to. I feel very proud about playing with Spain.”
It looks like Ibaka is back on the Spain bandwagon after voicing some frustration about his experience in the 2012 Olympics.
Ibaka needs to understand that he was never going to get a ton of playing time with Pau and Marc Gasol ahead of him on the depth chart. At just 22 years old too, Ibaka wasn’t trusted as much with the Spanish coach who seemed to prefer the veterans on the team who already had some Olympic experience.
Spain will definitely want Ibaka four years from now. Pau will be 36 years old then and may not even be in a position to play for Spain anymore. Marc should still be around which means that would likely make Ibaka the starting four.
Right now Ibaka’s game is more suited for the NBA style than international. He has no back-to-the-basket game yet and is just a spot-up shooter on offense. That could change in four years from now and it would benefit Spain as well as the Oklahoma City Thunder who wouldn’t say no to more offense coming from Ibaka.