Kyle Lowry made Toronto Raptors' history on Thursday by earning his sixth All-Star appearance, but he was the only Raptor to find his way into the history books.
Serge Ibaka became the first player in NBA history to record at least 500 3-pointers and 1,500 blocks in his career.
The only other players that have come close to the feat are former Atlanta Hawks standout Josh Smith who was 50 3s away from the accomplishment and Rasheed Wallace who fell 40 career blocks shy of the plateau.
Ibaka didn't start taking and making three consistently until the 2012-13 season. In 2016-17, the year he arrived in Toronto after being traded from the Orlando Magic, he took 317 3s and made 124 - both career-highs, resulting in a career-high 39.1% from beyond the arc.
Since then, the long ball has been an integral part of Ibaka's game and the Raptors' offence. Despite coming off a career-low 29% from three a season ago, the 30-year-old is back to knocking down treys at a high clip shooting 38.1% from three through 38 games this season.
Ibaka had always been a great rim protector and shot blocker in his career, leading the league in total blocks for four straight seasons following his rookie season in 2009-10. He reached the 1,500 block mark back in 2017-18, his first full season with Toronto.
Despite his role change now almost exclusively coming off the bench in Toronto, Ibaka is still one of the league's most feared rim protectors. Opposing players are shooting 51.9% within six feet of the basketball when Ibaka is the primary defender. That's on par with some of the great rim protectors in the league like Rudy Gobert (49.4%) and Kristaps Porzingis (48.8%).
Ibaka is in the final year of his three-year $64 million dollar contract. It will be interesting to see if the Raptors retain his services, and if not, what the market will be like for his unique blend of talent.
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