Serge Ibaka is staying put in Toronto.
Ibaka inked a three-year deal with the Raptors Sunday, which is reportedly worth $65 million. The big man was acquired by the Canadian team in a trade with the Orlando Magic earlier this year.
The new deal comes one day after the 27-year-old Republic of Congo native dispelled rumors that he’s a lot older than what is believed. In a released statement, Ibaka said he was proud of his heritage and was greatly disappointed in the rumors that surround his age — which tends to follow African-born players.
— Serge Ibaka (@sergeibaka_7) July 1, 2017
“I am very disappointed with the small part of society that spreads rumors and creates news based on stereotypes and without any proof,” he wrote. “I’m sad that to this day there are still prejudices based on your origin and, as Africans, sometimes we need to take a stand.”
He continued, “I know we live in a fast news world, where rumors and scoops rule, but I thin media should take their responsibility seriously when talking about important matters that can hurt people. I know who I am and where I come from, and so do the people that really know me.”
He concluded his statement with that he cannot convince everyone of the truth.
Miami Heat forward Luol Deng faced similar fraud accusations when he played for the Atlanta Hawks. Hawks general manager Danny Ferry made racially charged remarks about Deng during a conference call two seasons ago.
Ferry described Deng as someone who “has a little African in him.”
“He’s a good guy on the cover, but he’s an African. He has a little two step in him = says what you like to hear, but behind closed doors he could be killing you,” Ferry wrote in a scouting report. “Con isn’t bad, but it’s there. African-like, store front looks great but there’s a black market section in the back.”
Deng has forgiven Ferry — who was fired from position — for his comments.