Serge Ibaka Releases Statement Regarding Age Discrepancy Rumors

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2017

Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka (9) shoots a free throw against the Detroit Pistons during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 17, 2017, in Auburn Hills, Mich. The Raptors defeated the Pistons 87-75. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Duane Burleson/Associated Press

Free-agent forward Serge Ibaka responded to rumors Saturday that he is older than his listed age of 27.

Ibaka tweeted the following regarding his heritage and asked the media to take responsibility for what he labeled false reporting:

Ibaka's comments came after ESPN's Zach Lowe appeared on Bleacher Report's The Full 48 podcast this week and discussed the matter:

"Look, as uncomfortable as it is to say that, the league, not the league office, teams believe that [Ibaka] is older than his listed age. So whether he is or not, or what are the ethical issues of saying that, I don't know. But it affects the free-agency market for him."

After spending the first seven years of his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Ibaka was traded from the Orlando Magic to the Toronto Raptors last season.

He finished the campaign with averages of 14.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

Ibaka was originally selected with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics before they moved to OKC.

The Congo native came to the NBA in 2009-10 and developed into one of the league's top defensive players, as evidenced by his three NBA All-Defensive Team selections.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski (h/t Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic) reported Friday that there is a "significant chance" Ibaka re-signs with the Raptors.

Toronto is working to keep several of its free agents, as Ibaka, Kyle Lowry and P.J. Tucker have all hit the open market.

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