After facing the Philadelphia 76ers in Manchester, Serge Ibaka spoke to 6cero about the upcoming season and the 2014 World Cup in Spain amongst other things.
If you had to name the player that's hardest to defend in the NBA, who would it be?
Well, in the league there are a lot of good players and a lot of talented guys. Every night you face a different style of player, some that penetrate more, others that shoot more...It's very hard to name one player because you don't know who you're going to face each night.
Not long ago you said that you would like to play the 2014 World Cup in Spain, are you eager to face Kevin Durant and your teammates?
Yes, of course, haha.
Serge, how's the team looking to accomplish its target which I suppose is to win the title right?
Yes, always. Our target is always to fight for the title. We know it's not easy but we are going to try and win.
How do you think the team has improved?
It has improved a lot, especially mentally.
Are you prepared to be the third weapon in offense for the Thunder this season behind Westbrook and Durant?
Well my objective is to continue working to help the team. I'm not thinking about being the third threat, I'm just focusing on playing hard and helping the team.
Serge, in the last quarter you and Reggie Jackson have led the team and sealed the win. Do you think that this year when Durant is absent you can take on a more offensive role with mid distance shots like today?
Yes. If Durant isn't there we've all got to be prepared to help the team. He wasn't there in the fourth quarter so me, Reggie and the rest of the team tried to help the team.
Serge how do you feel playing alongside Steven Adams?
Good good, he's still a rookie and has a lot to learn. Up to now he's done well and I think he's on the right track.
How dou you think this trip, with these two games, has helped the team overall?
It's been a good trip, above all it's been good to spend time together, seeing a different lifestyle and different fans. That's always good and we did a great job here. We knew this was a preseason game and we're working to continue improving.
The team did 10 blocks and 11 steals today. In what way are these stats good for the defense?
Defense is always our main objective. We've been working towards that throughout the entire training camp. We know we've still got of areas we must improve on but we'll get there. This is our second preseason game so we'll continue working.
The legend that is Mutombo was present at the game and in his day he also did many blocks like you and you followed in his footsteps with the "Not in my house" gesture. Did you look up to him coming up?
Of course, for me he's an idol.
What's it been like getting to know Mutombo better in this trip?
We knew each other from before because we're both from Congo and we speak the same language which makes it easier to be friends. He helps me a lot and gives me a lot of advice.
Scott said that this year you will play more small ball which would make you play more as a center. What do you make of that?
To be honest I prefer playing as a power forward. But if the team asks me to play at center I'll be ready to do it.