When it comes to good dudes, none get better than the man we honor today in day 55 of 100 Days of Hoops…Dikembe Mutumbo.
Known for his infamous finger wag, Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo (his full name) played 18 seasons in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia Sixers, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks and Houston Rockets. He is in an exclusive club of professional athletes that have had their jerseys retired by multiple franchises. The number 55 (which his entire career) has been retired by the Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks.
There was a reason they called Mutombo, Mt. Mutombo. Standing at 7 feet 2 inches, n his first 15 NBA seasons, Mutombo averaged an outstanding 3.05 blocks per game. He blocked 3,289 shots over the course of his 18 year career. He was a hard mountain to climb and Mutombo even said it himself in a podcast with PodcastOne, “It took Jordan 8 years to climb Mt. Mutombo.” Known for his signature finger wag and 4 Defensive Player of the Years awards, he’s arguably the greatest defensive center of all time.
Dikembe is a Global Embassador for the NBA. How awesome is that? That must be a pretty cool gig, huh? He has used the NBA as a platform to change the lives of others. He opened a hospital and research center in his home country of Democratic Republic of Congo. Most of his work consists of Basketball Without Borders. A community outreach program that unites teenagers to “promote the sport and encourage positive social change in the areas of education, health, and wellness.”
There’s so much more than can be said about this legend. There just isn’t enough time to lists out all of his accomplishments and how many lives he has impacted. All is left to say is that he is just a really good dude. To: Dikembe Mutombo, “Respect and thank you. Need more like ya.” -Hardwood Features 👍