Ibaka joined the Thunder in the 2009-2010 season as a relative unknown and quickly established himself as a rotation player, evolving into a dominant defensive presence and a key part of Oklahoma City's core. He said he always intended to stay with the organization that took a chance on him with the No. 24 pick in the 2008 draft, via Nick Gallo of the Thunder's official website:
"When I got here in the NBA, I was thinking my first year, the most important thing is to stay with this team after my rookie year," Ibaka said. "We started this way together, we've come a long way. My teammates, my coaches, all the staff, the organization, everybody. For me I was thinking it was important for me to stay and finish what we started."
Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti and head coach Scott Brooks were full of praise for Ibaka on Monday, citing his competitiveness, work ethic and consistency.
For the latest on the Oklahoma City Thunder, be sure to check out Welcome to Loud City.