FC Bayern Munich has made its intentions this season crystal clear with the blockbuster signing of Serge Ibaka, one of the toughest big men in the game. Power forward Ibaka (2.08 meters, 33 years old) returns to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague after 14 seasons in the NBA, during which time he won a championship ring (2018-19) and was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team on three occasions (2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14).
Bayern Munich signs iconic big man Serge Ibaka
A former NBA champion
Born in the People's Republic of the Congo, Ibaka started his career in his native Brazzaville and played for ES Prisse Macon of France as well as for L'Hospitalet and Manresa of Spain before joining the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA in 2009. After seven seasons with Oklahoma City, Ibaka went on to play for the Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Clippers before joining the Milwaukee Bucks in 2022. He helped Toronto win the 2019 NBA title and reached the finals with Oklahoma City in 2012.
An accomplished defender
Ibaka was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in three consecutive seasons from 2011-12 to 2013-14. He led the NBA in blocks twice: in the 2011-12 (3.7 bpg.) and 2012-13 campaigns (3.0 bpg.). Ibaka ranks 25th in the NBA's all-time blocked shots standings (1,759). In 919 NBA regular-season career games, Ibaka amassed 11,028 points (12.0 ppg.) and 6,513 rebounds (7.1 rpg.). He averaged 10.6 points, 6.3 playoffs and 1.9 blocks in 152 NBA playoff games, too. Ibaka ranks eighth all-time in NBA playoff blocked shots: 292.
Making a name away from the court
Anyone familiar with Ibaka will be well aware of his personality away from the court. His interest in fashion is something that has always caught plenty of attention, while he also hosted a popular cooking show called 'How Hungry Are You?' on the YouTube channel of Bleacher Report before setting up his own channel and doing it there.
Music is something that is also a key part of Ibaka's life, having made a song with popular French rapper Ninho, "Champion", which is on an album released by Ibaka called "Art" in August 2022. What's more, a documentary called "Anything Is Possible" was released in 2019 that followed him on his journey back to the Republic of Congo, where he showed them the NBA championship trophy.
Reunited with Coach Laso
Ibaka briefly played in the EuroLeague in the 2010-11 season during the NBA lockout. He averaged 5.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in six EuroLeague games with Real Madrid, then-coached by Pablo Laso, with whom he will be reunited in Munich. Ibaka's best EuroLeague game came against Belgacom Spirou Charleroi when he had 12 points, 9 rebounds and 5 blocks to lead Real to a 93-89 victory.
Ibaka has also been a member of the Spanish national team, which he helped to a gold medal at EuroBasket 2011 and a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Before that, Ibaka represented the Republic of the Congo at youth level.