HoopsHype Serge Ibaka rumors

May 26, 2014 Updates

"I believe in God, and I believe in miracles, and I believe that everything is possible," Ibaka told USA TODAY Sports. "When I did the MRI (on the calf), and the MRI showed us that I was really bleeding a lot, but I said, 'I just want to keep believing, man.' "The only thing I was thinking in my mind was, 'At least I need to play maybe in Game 7, Game 7 (of this series).' I was thinking, 'I can not let my teammates down. I want to try to do the best I can, and maybe at least in Game 7.' Yeah, it was a very special game. A very special game. It showed me that God loves me. He really heard my prayer, because normally this kind of injury to get back to play you need to wait like maybe four weeks. This took me 10 days. It's a miracle, man believe me." USA Today Sports

Done for the Spurs, done for the season. Across the past seven years, there had been five of these injuries in the NBA, and no one had come back to play inside of a month. The air had come out of the Thunder's championship chase, and the coaches and players had been told implicitly: Move on, men. "I'm going to play," Ibaka told front-office executives Sam Presti and Troy Weaver. "I'm going to play," he told his Thunder teammates. Yahoo! Sports

Once the Thunder arrived back into Oklahoma City early Thursday, something surprising had happened: The swelling had subsided some 50 percent. The blood was gone, and suddenly the MRI gave a clearer indication this wasn't a four-to-six-week calf sprain, but a milder prognosis. Now, Ibaka was walking. Now, he was talking bolder. Game 3, he told everyone. He was walking, and the Thunder had been running out of time. He was pushing Thunder officials to let him get onto the court and start shooting. Presti understood he had to amend the rigid public stance that Ibaka held no hope of returning. Yahoo! Sports

May 25, 2014 Updates

Thunder forward Serge Ibaka participated in shootaround Sunday and said, barring any setbacks, he will play against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. "I'm trying to put my mind ready and if I'm going to feel better later, I'm going to go," Ibaka said. "For now, we're going to see if I feel better, because normally when you do this kind of workout, sometimes you can have pain later. "So I'm going to see how I feel later and then I'm going to decide." ESPN.com

Q. Do you expect to play tomorrow? Ibaka: Well, right now I'm waiting for the team doctor to confirm, and also it's depending on whether I will go tomorrow, day by day, and see. Q. In your heart do you feel like you're going to play? Ibaka: I just told you it's day by day. I cannot say how I feel. I'm waiting what the doctor going to tell me and how my body going to feel. So day by day, let's see how I'm going to wake up tomorrow. Oklahoman

"I've been hearing a lot of people saying my team lost two games because I was out," he said. "That's not true. I believe in my guys. I believe in my teammates. They can be better with me or without me. It's no excuse because Serge Ibaka was not there. Just San Antonio, the first two games, they played better basketball." USA Today Sports

May 24, 2014 Updates

“I knew it was coming,” said Parker Saturday before boarding the team charter to Oklahoma City. “There was no way (he was sitting). I saw they were making fun of us like we were paranoid, but we look good now. I knew it. I just couldn’t believe he would miss the whole playoffs. In our day you would get a shot or something and you play. “I just knew he was going to play. I’m sure when they looked at the schedule they figured he had a chance to be back for Game 3. That’s why they didn’t bring him to San Antonio (for the first two games). I think it was planned from the beginning. And we’re going to have to be ready because we’re playing a very good team at home.” San Antonio Express-News

May 23, 2014 Updates

Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka, who was expected to miss the rest of the postseason with a left calf strain, has been upgraded to day-to-day and could return for Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs. Thunder general manager Sam Presti said Friday that with the swelling of Ibaka's leg going down, the Thunder's medical team can no longer say he's out. "We're surprised that we're here, although grateful that he's made enough progress to say he's not ruled out," Presti said of Ibaka. "I think it's important, when you look at this, to recognize that we're not saying that he's playing, but what we're really trying to indicate is that the information is telling us that we can't rule him out." ESPN.com

Cue the Lloyd Christmas tape. "So you're telling me there's a chance." The Oklahoma City Thunder have changed the status of forward Serge Ibaka from being out of the playoffs to day to day, thereby unofficially announcing that there's a chance he could play as soon as Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday in Oklahoma City (8:30 p.m. ET, TNT). Ibaka, the team's top rebounder and shot-blocker, was ruled out because of a left calf injury from the Western Conference semifinals. USA Today Sports

May 22, 2014 Updates
May 21, 2014 Updates

Serge Ibaka: As you all know, I suffered an injury in the sixth game of the Conference Semifinals against the Los Angeles Clippers. This means I am not able to play in the Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. It’s a difficult moment because this is the most important time of the year. All the work done during the summer and preparation during the season is focused on being ready and at your best when the Playoffs arrive, so it’s obviously disappointing not to be able to help my team on the court. But injuries are part of the game and the only way to go through this is to stay positive and try to be healthy as soon as possible. SergeIbaka.com

May 20, 2014 Updates

"We're a no-excuse team," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "Serge is out. He's not coming back. We have to play better. We have to play better. If we expect to beat one of the best teams in basketball, and a very good offensive team, we have to play and we're not going to make an excuse." USA Today Sports

Collison said he would understand if Brooks wants to go small with the lineup and put him back in his reserve role. "If coach doesn't feel like that lineup is good or whatever, then that's up to him," he said. "But for me personally, I'm just trying to get in there and do what I do well and try to get to the right spots and make the right plays." USA Today Sports

Collison will find out on Tuesday if his tooth that was pushed back toward his throat will need to be glued back in place. The Thunder, meanwhile, have a repair job of their own to get to work on in time for Game 2 on Wednesday. "We weren't good enough," said Collison, the always-classy veteran who only played 15 minutes and missed all three of his shots. "Offensively, we've got to be better too. But it's not necessarily like, 'Serge is gone, replay Serge (and his role).' It's like, whoever is the five who are out there have to really play at a high level. The Spurs are great at moving the ball, finding the open man and eventually getting to the paint. We've got to be able to cut that stuff off so they're not getting in the paint and we're making them shoot jumpshots over a hand instead of letting them get to the basket so much." USA Today Sports

Far from the beginnings of these Western Conference finals, far from these unfortified Oklahoma City Thunder, Serge Ibaka is defiant and determined for the world to witness his Willis Reed moment. Ibaka, so proud, so professional, is respectively raging against his injury diagnosis. Ibaka is back in Oklahoma City for Games 1 and 2 – ruled out of the playoffs with a lower leg injury – but his willingness to play with pain, his loyalty to the championship cause, has him thinking about starting some stationary shooting late this week, a league source told Yahoo Sports on Monday. Yahoo! Sports

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.