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Dikembe Mutombo
Dikembe Mutombo (2017).jpg
Mutombo attending the Annual Charity Day event in September 2016.
No. 55
Position:  Center
Personal information
Born:  June 25, 1966 (1966-06-25) (age 55)
Léopoldville, Republic of Congo
Nationality:  Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg.png Congolese
Physical stats
Listed height:  7 ft 2 in (2.18 m)
Listed weight:  260 lb (118 kg)
National Basketball Association career
Debut: 1991 for the Denver Nuggets
Final game: 2009 for the Houston Rockets
Career information
High school:  Institute Boboto
(DR Congo)
College:  Georgetown
NBA Draft:  1991 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4th
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • NBA All-Star (1992, 19951998, 20002002)
  • All-NBA Second Team (2001)
  • 2× All-NBA Third Team (1998, 2002)
  • 4× NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1995, 1997, 1998, 2001)
  • 3× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1997, 1998, 2001)
  • 3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1995, 1999, 2002)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (1992)
  • 2× NBA rebounding leader (2000, 2001)
  • 3× NBA blocks leader (1994–1996)
  • 2× J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (2001, 2009)
  • No. 55 retired by the Atlanta Hawks
  • No. 55 retired by the Denver Nuggets
  • Third-team All-American – AP, UPI (1991)
  • First-team All-Big East (1991)
  • Second-team All-Big East (1990)
  • 2× Big East Defensive Player of the Year (1990, 1991)

Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Elizabeth Mukamba Jean-Jacques Priscilla Wamutombo (born June 25, 1966) is a Congolese-American former professional basketball player. Mutombo played 18 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Outside basketball, he has become well known for his humanitarian work.

The 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m), 260-pound (120 kg) center, who began his career with the Georgetown Hoyas, is commonly regarded as one of the greatest shot blockers and defensive players of all time, winning the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award four times; he was also an eight-time All-Star. On January 10, 2007, he surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the second most prolific shot blocker in NBA history, behind only Hakeem Olajuwon, and he averaged a double-double for most of his career.

At the conclusion of the 2009 NBA playoffs, Mutombo announced his retirement. On September 11, 2015, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Denver Nuggets

Mutombo was drafted 4th overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 1991 NBA Draft. He averaged 16.6 points and 12.3 rebounds per game, but the Nuggets were unable to make the playoffs in his rookie season. In the 1992-93 season, Mutombo averaged 13.8 points and 13 rebounds per game, but there was no playoff berth for Denver that year either. In the 1993-94 season, he averaged 12 points and 11.8 rebounds per game, just enough to lead the Nuggets to the playoffs. They were seeded 8th and faced the 1 seeded Seattle Supersonics. They pulled off the upset against the Sonics, but fell to the Utah Jazz in 7 games in the second round. In the 1994-95 season, Mutombo averaged 11.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, and led the Nuggets to the playoffs for the second straight year. But they were seeded 8th again and fell to the San Antonio Spurs in the second round. In the 1995-96 season, Mutombo averaged 11 points and 11.8 rebounds per game, but the Nuggets weren't able to get a playoff berth. So Mutombo became a free agent in the offseason.

Atlanta Hawks

Mutombo signed a 50 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks as an unrestricted free agent in 1995. He averaged 13.3 points and 11.6 rebounds in his first year with Atlanta. The Hawks made the playoffs in Mutombo's debut with them. They were seeded 4th and faced the 5th seeded Detroit Pistons in the first round. They were able to take down the Pistons, but lost to the Chicago Bulls in the second round. In the 1997-98 season, he averaged 13.4 points and 11.4 rebounds per game, the Hawks made the playoffs again. This time they were seeded 5th. But they fell to the Charlotte Hornets in the first round. In the 1998-99 season, there was an NBA lockout. It lasted from July 1, 1998 to January 20, 1999. This would mean that instead of 82 games played for each team, only 50 games would be played. Mutombo still averaged 10.8 points and 12.2 rebounds per game, and the Hawks still made the playoffs. They were seeded 4th again and faced the Detroit Pistons in the first round. They defeated Detroit, but lost to the New York Knicks in the second round. In the 1999-2000 season, Mutombo averaged 11.5 points and 14.1 rebounds per game, but the Hawks were unable to be eligible for the playoffs. In the 2000-01 season, Mutombo averaged 9.5 points and 14.1 rebounds per game in the first half of the season.

Philadelphia 76ers

Before the 2001 trade deadline, the Atlanta Hawks traded Mutombo to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Theo Ratliff and Toni Kukoc. Mutombo averaged 11.7 points and 12.4 rebounds per game after the trade deadline. Philadelphia was seeded 1st and faced the 8th seeded Indiana Pacers in the first round. They took down Indiana, then they defeated the Toronto Raptors in the second round, then took down the Milwaukee Bucks in the Conference Finals to reach the NBA Finals. However, Shaquille O'Neal and the Los Angeles Lakers were too much for Philadelphia as the Lakers took down the Sixers to win the NBA Championship. In the 2001-02 season, Mutombo averaged 11.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, and the 76ers made the playoffs once again. They were seeded 6th and faced the 3rd seeded Boston Celtics. But the Celtics beat Philadelphia in the first round.

New Jersey Nets

On August 6, 2002, the Philadelphia 76ers traded Mutombo to the New Jersey Nets in exchange for Keith Van Horn and Todd McColluch. But Mutombo didn't seen too happy in New Jersey, averaging only 5.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game and playing in only 24 games due to injury problems. But the Nets somehow were still able to make the NBA Finals. But they fell to the San Antonio Spurs.

New York Knicks

On the off-season, Mutombo signed a deal with the New York Knicks, but that year wasn't an improvement. He averaged only 5.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. He missed 17 games as well. The Knicks still made the playoffs, but fell to the New Jersey Nets in the first round.

Houston Rockets

Dikembe Mutombo.jpg

Mutombo was traded to Houston after 1 year with the Knicks. But it was clear that he was on his last legs, averaging only 4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. But he seemed happy in Houston, despite losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs. In the 2005-06 season, he averaged 2.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, both new career lows, as the Rockets weren't able to get a playoff berth. In the 2006-07 season, he averaged 3.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Although Houston did make the playoffs that year, they fell to the Utah Jazz in the first round. In the 2007-08 season, he averaged 3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. In the playoffs, it was the same story: falling to the Utah Jazz in the first round. In the 2008-09 season, he averaged only 1.8 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, both career lows, and not only that, he played in only 9 games that year, but Houston still made the playoffs. But they fell to the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. Mumbo retired after a very disappointing season.

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