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Ibaka apologizes, but says his low blow on Griffin was unintentional

By Royce Young | NBA writer

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Fresh off being fined by the league $25,000 for his low blow to Blake Griffin, Serge Ibaka wanted to make something very clear: He was sorry, and he didn't mean to do it.

"Like I said yesterday, about the foul, it was not something I tried to do the way it was," Ibaka said Tuesday before the Thunder played the Lakers. "The game was physical. I wouldn't try to hurt someone. I'm not that kind of guy. I like to play hard. Just for all the fans that feel like I tried to hurt him, I just want to apologize to the fans that was watching the game."

The play was reviewed and determined to be a Flagrant 1 foul, therefore allowing Ibaka to remain in the game. After further review by the league, the foul was upgraded to a Flagrant 2 and the $25,000 fine was assessed.

"I was not watching him, I was watching the basket," Ibaka explained. "If you want to hurt someone, you'd be watching him and do it."

Many, though, felt Ibaka deserved a suspension for the play, including LeBron James, who tweeted: "So explain to me the difference? My teammate gets a 1 game suspension and 150k+ taking away from him for his groin altercation #strangetome."

Asked about the reactions, Ibaka said, "I did not see, I only heard. But it's not really my concern ... About the people that was tweeting or whatever I'm not really concerned about that. I'm focused about tonight's game."

Ibaka said the low blow was not his intent, but rather that he was just trying to separate from Griffin who had hold of his jersey.

"Yes," Ibaka said when asked directly if he was trying to break Griffin's grip. "But people will type in whatever they want."

Ibaka definitely appeared a bit embarrassed about the entire situation, especially because of the way his reputation has taken a hit.

"I just want to apologize to all the fans that was watching the game," he said. "And if they saw it was a bad image, I want to apologize because I'm not that kind of person."

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