HoopsHype Dikembe Mutombo rumors


February 7, 2013 Updates

This year's rosters include celebrities from film, TV, and music. Reigning 2012 Sprit NBA All-Star Celebrity Game MVP Kevin Hart ("Real Husbands of Hollywood"), will look to defend his title alongside stars like Grammy Award-winner Ne-Yo (R&B/pop); Nick Cannon ("Real Husbands of Hollywood"); Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games); Trey Songz (R&B Singer/Actor); Usain Bolt (Olympic gold medal sprinter); Arne Duncan (Secretary of Education); Terrence Jenkins ("E! News," Anchor); Common (Rapper/Actor); John Schriffen (ABC News Correspondent); Ryen Russillo (ESPN Host); NBA Legends Dikembe Mutombo (eight-time NBA All-Star), Clyde Drexler (ten-time NBA All-Star), Sean Elliott (two-time NBA All-Star), and Bruce Bowen (NBA legend); WNBA stars Tamika Catchings ( Indiana Fever) and Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx). NBA.com

December 10, 2012 Updates

Dikembe Mutombo: Our commissioner David Stern has done a wonderful job, and I don't know if there will be another commissioner in the NBA history as good as him, another that will do the great work the commissioner has done. We're so happy about him. I don't think there's anybody that can complain. The great work he has done: from TV, promoting the game, the fans, the Basketball Without Borders program... There's so many things the comissioner has been able to do... I don't know where to start and where to finish. HoopsHype

October 25, 2012 Updates

Lakers Coach Mike Brown said he was "fine" with the proposal, an interesting take considering he's coached on teams with talented centers, including Dikembe Mutombo, David Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard. "It's a little tough because everybody plays so small. With them playing quote-unquote small ball, bigs don't have an opportunity to flourish or shine, however you may want to call it," Brown said. "So the league is just trying to get the biggest names and, in their opinion, the most talented players out there. They're just trying to find a fair way to do it." Los Angeles Daily News

October 10, 2012 Updates
September 29, 2012 Updates

When Dikembe Mutumbo would speak to you, would you sometimes just nod and say yes? Daryl Morey: Yes. And then I would ask him to follow up with a txt of what he wants on one of the 4 cell phones he always carried. reddit

September 3, 2012 Updates

Milwaukee Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute remembers the NBA as a faraway place. Making it a reality hardly seemed possible. "The closest I got to the NBA was getting up at 3 a.m. to watch games on TV," said Mbah a Moute, who grew up with five brothers and three sisters in Cameroon. "When I came to this camp and met Dikembe Mutombo, it was a dream come true. Not only could you see it, but feel it and live it." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

August 31, 2012 Updates

Thunder forward Nick Collison, along with NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo and Bucks forward Luc Mbah a Moute is in Kenya representing the NBA as part of a UNICEF field trip. Collison has filed this travelogue for NBA.com. Entry 1: Making my way to Kenya: I previously attended Basketball without Borders in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2008, so this marks my second trip to Africa. I had a great experience and wanted to return, so when I was approached by the NBA to come to Kenya as part of a UNICEF field trip followed by another BWB in Johannesburg, I jumped at the opportunity. Friday morning I left New York on a flight to Johannesburg then on to Nairobi. The total travel time was over 20 hours. After relaxing Saturday we had a day to spend in Nairobi. A small group of us toured Kibera which is one of the largest slums in the world, located in the middle of Nairobi. Walking through Kibera was a powerful experience. NBA.com

June 18, 2012 Updates

How does it feel to be part of Basketball Without Borders? Vladimir Radmanovic: Well, it’s a good feeling to be part of something like this. Every chance I get to participate in things like this, Basketball Without Borders, it’s a good thing. Helping young players develop their game and their skill set, it’s a win-win. What is it like working with Dikembe Mutombo? He has been all over the place and is very well-recognized as an NBA ambassador. I’ve been with him on a couple trips and it’s always a good experience. NBA.com

June 15, 2012 Updates

Former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo is doing his bit to help basketball continue to grow internationally. Appointed as the NBA's global ambassador in 2009, Mutombo is in Japan to conduct basketball clinics with the Basketball Without Borders program. The four-day camp in Japan is attended by the top 50 young basketball players from 18 Asian countries. Samuel Dalembert of the Houston Rockets, Vladimir Radmanovic of the Atlanta Hawks, Corey Brewer of the Denver Nuggets and former NBA player Yuta Tabuse of Japan also are taking part in the clinics. "We bring our knowledge of the game and pass it on to young people," Mutombo said. "I am proud to say that there are now about 200 or 250 young men who took part in Basketball Without Borders who are now playing in American high schools and colleges." ESPN.com

May 23, 2012 Updates
May 12, 2012 Updates

Eighteen years later, the image still torments George Karl. Dikembe Mutombo is lying on the floor underneath the basket at Seattle's Key Arena, his outstretched arms holding the ball above his head in triumph. Mutombo's Denver Nuggets had just come back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Karl's SuperSonics in the deciding game of their best-of-five series, becoming the first eighth-seeded team to defeat a top-seeded opponent in the first round. "It was probably the worst day of my life," Karl, now coach of the Nuggets, said Friday. "I mean, I can't remember, other than my dad dying maybe." Los Angeles Times

March 30, 2012 Updates

Dikembe Mutombo, who works for the NBA as foreign ambassador, said he “prays’’ Patrick Ewing lands a head-coaching job this summer. Mutombo said he would be even happier if Ewing landed with the Washington, where he is revered as a former Georgetown superstar, than with the Knicks. “But I’m not the owner,’’ Mutombo said. Mutombo said he doesn’t understand why Ewing has received just one interview after being an assistant eight years. “I’ve been praying for him,’’ Mutombo said, “to get a chance to be head coach of one of the NBA teams. His work ethic was incredible. He took so many younger players under his belt, including myself. I always talk about being a student of Parick Ewing. Same with Alonzo Mourning. He told us what it takes to get to the next level.’’ New York Post

March 2, 2012 Updates

Mutombo had linked up with Houston-based oil executive Kase Lawal, a respected businessman whom President Barack Obama had appointed to the Federal Trade Commission's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiation. According to the UN document (and as first reported by The Houston Chronicle), the two attempted to purchase what they thought was $30 million worth of gold from dealers in Kenya -- only to find out that the gold (most of which was probably counterfeit) was in the possession of a notorious Congolese warlord, who ended up profiting handsomely off of Mutombo and Lawal's blind enthusiasm and almost total lack of due diligence. The incident provides a glimpse into the complex situation in the eastern Congo, where gold traders attempt to make quick money off of the area's conflict-tainted mineral resources -- and end up exacerbating the region's long-standing misery. It's a reminder that the Congo gold trade is so dirty -- and so pervasive -- that even these prominent Americans ended up handing millions of dollars to a warlord who is widely considered to be one of the most brutal and dangerous men in Central Africa. The Atlantic

When The Atlantic tried to reach Mutombo through his foundation, a representative said that neither the former basketball star nor his charitable foundation would be commenting. Kawal's company, CAMAC, responded to similar requests with this statement: "CAMAC is a law-abiding company and we disagree with the representations made in the UN report. We have already answered questions on this and see no reason to address it further." St. Mary admits that he didn't press for details during the meeting. As a family friend of Lawal's and a longtime acquaintance of Mutombo's, he says, he didn't want to get pushy with either. "I probably should have looked at things a little closer," he says, "but when you put the pedigrees of those people together there's stuff you overlook." The Atlantic

And even if Dikembe Mutombo, following events from afar, was unaware of Ntaganda's involvement, his nephew Reagan had arrived in Goma ahead of St. Mary, and likely was. "[Reagan] was there in Goma," says Robarts. "He actually preceded the others. I think it's impossible that he did not know about Ntaganda and his role, at least as it emerged." In a second statement sent to The Atlantic, a CAMAC spokesperson writes that "Kase Lawal and CAMAC deny that CAMAC funds were a part of any illegal payment" and that the company disputes any parts of the UN report "that allege a connection between CAMAC and Bosco Ntaganda." The statement adds, "It is important to remember that the Congolese government filed no charges and that neither CAMAC nor Dr. Lawal have made any admission of wrongdoing." The Atlantic

The conflict mineral trade funds, and thus worsens, some of the Congo's worst problems: its corruption, its proliferation of guns and militias, labor exploitation, and some of the weakest governance and poorest security in the world. Yet the conflict mineral trade is a symptom, rather than a cause, of the DRC's ills. Riven by decades of conflict and governed by a predatory and ineffectual state, the DRC is still a country where the government's employment of Ntaganda and other bloodstained ex-insurgents who also work in the conflict mineral business is, ironically, considered a lynchpin of the fragile regional peace., Whether Mutombo and Lawal were aware of it or not, they initiated a deal that has likely enriched the same people who turned the eastern Congo into one of the most violent places on earth. But that's not the most amazing thing about this incident. After all, these sorts of deals go through all the time: the buyers are experienced enough not to get caught and, if they are caught, they're usually not presidential appointees or famous basketball stars. And that's exactly what makes this story so remarkable. Replace the two high-profile Americans with savvier mineral merchants, and it's practically routine. The Atlantic

January 16, 2012 Updates

Less than two weeks later, according to a U.N. report, Mutombo was in New York on a more personal cause — trying to interest a Houston oil executive in a $10 million deal to buy 1,045 pounds of gold from the mines of eastern Congo, the heart of the conflict mineral trade. If Mutombo had reservations about the apparent contradiction between word and deed, he did not show it. He eagerly explained how he and his family had 4 tons of Congolese gold just waiting for a buyer. Because of an internal ban on mining and exports, imposed to try to stop the main revenue source for the mafia-like militias that controlled them, the gold could not be taken to market in usual ways. What Mutombo needed was somebody with money, connections and the ability to put a deal together. Enter Kase Lawal. As chairman of CAMAC, a Houston energy company, Lawal knew Mutombo from the latter’s final days with the Houston Rockets — and he knew how to do business in Africa. Lawal moved to Houston from Nigeria as a young man and built a company that prospered in large measure because of his operations there and in neighboring countries. Houston Chronicle

There were, however, no profits to be had. In truth, the deal was an elaborate scam that ended at an airport in Goma with the seizure of the Gulfstream V jet and the arrest of St. Mary and several CAMAC employees, all suddenly facing accusations of money laundering and attempted smuggling. More than 1,000 pounds of gold pulled from the cargo hold was taken away by Congolese officials. Two bags containing $6.6 million in cash were gone as well, into the pockets of a local general whose loyal troops oversee much of the nearby mining operations. Houston Chronicle

To make matters worse, Lawal had to pay millions more to recover his plane and his people. St. Mary said Lawal later told him the entire ordeal cost him around $30 million. The failed smuggling plot drew global attention. But conspicuously absent from publicity surrounding the incident was any mention of the part played by Mutombo, the finger-wagging basso profondo whose 7-foot stature and defensive prowess made him a force on the hardwoods. Not only had Mutombo initiated the deal, St. Mary said, but he and his family played a key role from the onset, one not revealed until recently with the release of a United Nations report on Congo’s militia activity that recounts the incident. Houston Chronicle

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