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September 27, 2021

Serge Ibaka

Los Angeles, California, USA

Press Conference

Q. Serge, first of all, how are you doing? How is your back doing? I know you underwent the procedure late in the season. How are you doing health-wise?

SERGE IBAKA: I'm doing good. I've been working over the summer, close to being 100 percent, so so far, so good.

Q. Do you have some kind of timeline of how you want to progress as the season goes on, how do you take it day by day right now?

SERGE IBAKA: Just day by day. I don't have a timeline, just day by day, see how I feel. I just start doing contact first and then see how it goes.

Q. What have you thought about the Clippers' roster acquisitions this summer? I guess getting a little bit younger; what have you thought about the guys that they brought in?

SERGE IBAKA: I mean, we brought in a lot of young players with a lot of future, a lot of young talent, and I think it's always good to have a mix of a little bit of vets and young guys. Yeah.

Q. I see that Rumba is coming out September 30th. How are you feeling about another project coming out music-wise?

SERGE IBAKA: Music-wise, that's something been keeping my mind free. Last year when I got hurt, watching my team play, it was hard. Mentally it can be hard. But because I was doing a lot of things off the court, like music, my cooking show, it really helped me to stay easy in my mind, and yeah, I'm very excited for my next single. By the way, my first single, I don't know if you know, got platinum in France. So it's doing very well, and I'm excited for the next single.

Q. You had an option and you decided to opt in and take this year with the team; was there any kind of thought in your mind that you were going to explore your options and reenter free agency?

SERGE IBAKA: No, I didn't think twice because I'm the kind of person, I don't give up. I feel like I have unfinished business here, and I want to show the Clippers fans what Serge Ibaka was looking for, what they want to see. I feel like I didn't give that last year. I didn't give them that last year. I was like, you know what, I'm going to -- I have to finish the job I wanted to start.

It was not easy personally, but at the end of the day this is a great organization and a great team, so why not.

Q. You said last year that Kawhi texted you when you were considering as a free agent what to do, whether to come here. There wasn't a whole lot of expectation that Kawhi would leave, but when he was a free agent, did you text him and say, come back?

SERGE IBAKA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, because I have to. Especially I know I'm going to re-sign again here, so I know I would take my play option, so I had to make sure he's going to be here, too. So I had to talk to him.

Even during the season I already know he was going to stay. I already know. It was not that big deal because I already know.

Q. With the Dallas series, what happened because you came back the end of the season and you said that you were not 100 percent but you were working your way into it and then obviously two games in you couldn't play anymore. What happened and what kind of surgery did you have to have done?

SERGE IBAKA: I just got -- they had to clean up my disc because that's where the nerves come in and out. Yeah, that's it. I think it wasn't that bad. You know, I just be dealing with the pain for so long for almost a year. That's the hard part it was, because I thought like if I just keep working, keep taking the baths, strengthening my core, I'm going to be fine, but it was not the case. I wish I could get surgery earlier, earlier during the season, but hey, things happen. Now I'm going to focus on it for the next season.

Q. Wondering what the feeling is like around here because obviously you guys go into this without Kawhi but then having made such a resilient run with the help from your Voodoo Room last year. What is the expectation specially with this group?

SERGE IBAKA: I think we're all learning from last year, last season, last playoff. We saw what this team is capable after all the injuries, and I feel like we have confidence this year. We have a good team. We believe we've got a good team. We're going to be better this year. We're definitely going to be better. That's the kind of confidence as a player you have when you compete like we did last year during the Playoffs and then you go into this season telling yourself, you know what, even with all those things happening last year, we almost made the final. So we was close. So that means this year we can do better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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