NBA, Video / Apr 22, 2009 / 1:28 pm

We Reminisce: Dikembe Mutombo’s Career

Today is one of the saddest days of the year. Not because of the weather, or the fact that I had to re-up on my $81 monthly Metro Card, but because Dikembe Mutombo‘s career-ending injury signifies the end of an era. Bigger than the game, take a look back on Deke’s life.

Is Mutombo a first-ballot Hall of Famer?

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  • Damon

    ty dime for acknowledging this great guy and his career. hearing he had tears in his eyes when he said he will retire just tells how much passion he still has.

    thx DEKE

  • nola

    dikembe will be back.

  • http://www.twitter.com/lakersnation @LakersNation

    Dikembe played for more than the money and the fame . . he literally played for the survival of his people . . . .

  • Damon

    oh, and he is a first ballot HOFer. 4 dpoy says it all.

  • kg fan

    he’s a hall of famer in my book. Not only a great player but a great person as well

  • hahns

    agreed w/ all of the above- reading about him crying in smack this morning was heart breaking.

    the guy is absolutely a first balloter. his ‘game’ transcends basketball- everyone knows the humanitarian aid he provided for africa, building schools and hospitals. that on top of the fact he was such a dominant defenseive presence should really make him a no-brainer.

    i dont think a bad thing could be said about him

  • dagwaller


    Looking back, it’s hard to believe that those knobby knees never gave out sooner. Still, at 64 years of age, you expect that kind of thing.

  • dagwaller

    P.S. Oh and Zo, Deke never bitched out on playing for teams like the Nuggets, Nets, or Hawks.

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    he will focus the rest of his NBA days helping his uncle (greg oden) mature into a veteran.

  • http://www.twitter.com/lakersnation @LakersNation

    btw . . . will his upper deck rookie card in his janky blue suit get me anything these days?

  • marcus the great

    lmao @ Amar

    yea i’ma miss Deke and the finger wag. he will be missed, but at least he will be a 1st ballot hall of famer

  • Raj S

    Four-time Defensive Player of the Year. Eight-time All Star. Nineteen seasons in the NBA. The unforgettable finger wave, and the memorable moment of him on the ground in joy after his eighth-seeded Nuggets upset the top-seeded Supersonics.
    There is no doubt that he is a first ballot Hall of Famer.

  • sparkyjay23

    Is Mutombo a first-ballot Hall of Famer?

    Are you on Fucking crack?

    Of course he is – NO FUCKING DOUBT!!

  • weng santos

    It shouldn’t have been this way =(

  • SK

    One of the most underrated centers ever. Definitely in.

  • Jah

    In my opinion, Deke is a first ballot hall of famer.

  • SWAT

    damn damn damn!! we will miss you mt mutombo. real talk time to scoop a jersey…for memories.

  • S Paynter

    “A look back at his life” ???? The man aint dead!

  • E$

    (SIGH) this hurts. Never thought I could adore another player after Olajuwon, but Deke is a blessing to the game. Anbody don’t like Deke, doesn’t like life. lol @ Bynum – Brandon Roy got the last finger wave (sniff) Thanks Mutombo :)

  • Big Shot BOB

    First Ballot for sure. Shots out to Deke. We are witnessing the end of a great era. I’ll miss the finger waging, the cookie monster voice and trying to understand him and all the age jokes. The paint will never be the same!

  • JA

    Deke is a first ballot lock.

    Loved when TBJ did a bit on him (10:03 in): http://thebasketballjones.net/post/81741039/ep-395-slipping-stons

  • Damon

    as great as he was, he will get in the HOF but probably not his number retired anywhere. maybe denver, but i cant say a lot about that, too young…
    what do you guys think?

  • Big Island

    It’s tough to agree with anyone called LakerNation, but he said it perfectly. He played for the survival of his people. He is one of the guys I will appreciate more as time goes on.

    The video/pictures of him lying on the ground in Denver with the ball is one of the greatest ever.

  • bobbys

    4 time dpoy
    coolest trash-talk move of his era
    craziest voice in the history of the nba


  • AY

    I don’t know whether if he’ll get in as a player, the hall of fame traditionally disses defensive players like they’re nothing. He will get in for his contributions. And besides, how can anyone deny mutombo of something like this when he has given so much to everyone else.

  • dapro

    Man I damn near cried myself when i saw him go down. My father (RIP) would have been speechless had he lived to see this

    He’s a first ballot HOF, he won’t have a problem getting votes

  • SVCat

    The voice alone gets him in HOF. The finger wagging cannot be replicated by anyone. The humanitarian efforts will place him at the forefront of any future endeavors he chooses after his NBA career. Brandon gets to tell his grandchildren that he was the last one to see the finger wagging.

  • Detroit Dave

    Its hard to say anything bad about this guy.


    Hopefully his grandfather Oden can have a long lasting career like DEKE NUFF RESPECT

  • F.L.A.S.H.

    anyone else saw the irony that the most injury prone player (oden) had to end the career of one of the most durable players in nba history? sam bowie II done us in again! Deke, much love and respect, R(etire).I.P.

  • D.H.

    Yea a real pitty it had to end this way. What a great character, the leauge could use a few more with his heart and attitude.

    btw, anyone know where I can get me one of those old school nuggets home mutombo jerseys?

  • http://deleted Duke

    Dude sounded like the Cookie Monster but he’s most definitely in the HoF. We need more players like him.

  • Sanpitch

    can’t watch the video i’m at work. didn’t the guy build a hospital in his home country with his own money?? dude is a saint with a devil’s voice.

    i’ll never forget when he set the record for blocks in a 5 game series and slapped the supersonics with a first round loss. that video of him holding the ball and crying on the floor is priceless and the reason we love the game.

    here’s to you deke.

    yes he’s a first ballot hofer.

    does anyone know his full name? isn’t it like 9 names??

  • holland


    he didnt change one bit over the years

    great personality

  • Ashlov

    I’m a little shocked that no one busted out with:




  • doc

    I seen Tum Tum leave the arena with like 5 bitches on his arm before.He be slaying them bitches!I dont care that he’s done he old as shit and made a couple millions along the way I dont feel sorry or think he should go out better or none of that bullshit.But he is a HOFer.1rst ballot-who cares as long as u make it.

  • erichv96

    I hate to throw up a link to another sports site, but if you like Deke, this is worth reading… http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4089934

  • hadoken

    no one will ever wave that finger like mt mutombo…

  • Jay Jay

    This is a great clip! I love that finger wagging! …lol

  • the cynic

    i almost cried watching Deke lay on the court. One of my all-time favorite players

  • Markito

    The finger wag is one of the best power moves in basketball. Heck, even MJ imitated him and did the finger wag to Mt. Mutombo.

    He’s a lock for the HoF. Character + game = votes.

  • illy

    deke is HoF. period.

  • bakedbeing

    Respect, Deke. And Iso’s Sixers weren’t going to the finals without Deke, tho it doesn’t get said much.

    It’s not a shame how he went out, you play till 42 and the only thing that’s going to stop you balling is an injury or a call up to the national lawnbowls team. Better than having to stop at 36 because you were a liability on the floor.

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  • Sanpitch

    found his full name:

    Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo

    Mutombo is able to speak English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and five African languages.

    He also paid for uniforms and expenses for the Zaire women’s basketball team during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta

    In 1997, Mutombo with the Mutombo Foundation began plans to open a $29 million, 300-bed hospital on the outskirts of his hometown, the Congolese capital of Kinshasa.Mutombo had trouble getting donations early on although Mutombo personally donated $3.5 million toward the hospital’s construction. On August 14, 2006, Dikembe donated $15 million to the completion of the hospital for its ceremonial opening on September 2, 2006. The hospital was by then named Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital, named for his late mother, who died of a stroke in 1997.

    Dude donated $18.5 mill to this hospital, while our VP (Biden) donated an average of $369/year to charity. My intent is not to get political but just to show how charitable this man is.

  • Kudabeen
  • Kudabeen


    Are they saying Deke is 42?

    In the video the players on the team are quoting Mutombo saying “coach I am 45 years old, you can’t make me run wind sprints”…

    I know there has always been age questions with him, but he squeezed every bit of talent out of his body for the game. He really was a great character on and off the court for the NBA…

  • bakedbeing

    His year of birth on his profile @ nba.com is ’66, maybe they were exaggerating for effect :D