Serge Ibaka is 27 years old.
There has never been any evidence shared with the world to disprove that bit of commonly available knowledge. Yet Ibaka’s age has been a target of suspicion and distasteful jokes for years, as has been the case with many players to come out of Africa. During his time with the Raptors, Bismack Biyombo faced similar questions, for example.
Ibaka released a statement Saturday evening, presumably hoping to dispel the baseless speculation.
It’s unclear what the motivation might have been for Ibaka to release this statement now, as he deals with the first day of his free agency. But the impetus doesn’t really matter. The jokes about his age have always been on the lazy side. Sure, Ibaka isn’t as bouncy an athlete as he once was. Sometimes he looks gassed on the second night of back-to-backs. That doesn’t automatically mean his age is falsified. The significant lower body injuries he’s suffered in the past are a far more likely cause of his perceived decline.
I don’t want to throw stones. I’m sure I’ve made a comment or two in passing about Ibaka’s age before. Maybe you have too, even if not maliciously. If that’s the case, it’s not too late for the trend to be stopped. Read the statement, and keep it mind the next time a joke about Ibaka’s age comes to mind.