The Toronto Raptors' championship defence fell short after a thrilling Game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals.
Following their exit, Serge Ibaka posted a touching tribute to his teammates on Twitter, alongside a picture of the entire squad.
"The Raptors team is a family and we win together and lose together," Ibaka said on Twitter, "We ALL gave all our heart in this Playoffs but sometimes things don't go your way. Proud of this team and of representing Toronto and Canada #WeTheNorth"
The Raptors team is a family and we win together and lose together. We ALL gave all our heart in this Playoffs but sometimes things don't go your way. Proud of this team and of representing Toronto and Canada #wethenorth pic.twitter.com/2hZrNrULzZ- Serge Ibaka (@sergeibaka) September 13, 2020
Despite the heartbreaking exit, the 30-year-old said he was 'grateful' for the opportunity to play basketball in the bubble, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"This year has been crazy man, with the epidemic and the shutdown of the season, come back and start in the bubble," Ibaka said after Game 7. "But it happened for everybody, not only us, not only the Raptors right, every team so it's no excuses.
"At the end of the day, we still do something we love, we still play something we love and that's what happened. Game 7, anything can happen. Like last year we had some lucky shots from Kawhi and this year [it went] a different way so, it happened."
Ibaka will enter the off-season as an unrestricted free agent, who is sure to attract plenty of interest from rival teams, meaning the Raptors have some big decisions to make ahead of 2020-21.
Key pieces Fred VanVleet and Marc Gasol will also be free agents and while they look to be a contender in the East for years to come, Ibaka said he is yet to give much thought to the future, placing his immediate focus on his family.
"Anything I can say I'm just thankful man, to be in this position, to do something I love to do and basketball has been great to me, thank God, but now I'm just thinking to go home and see my daughter," he said.
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