Dikembe Mutombo Rumors

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Dikembe Mutombo
Dikembe Mutombo
Position: -
Born: 06/25/66
Height: 7-2 / 2.18
Weight:265 lbs. / 120.2 kg.
Earnings: $143,666,581 ($213,945,047*)
Prior to Wednesday night, NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo had only seen short clips of the Minneapolis police officer digging his knee into George Floyd’s neck. But that night, as Mutombo lumbered downstairs in his Atlanta home for a workout, he couldn’t look away from the excruciating 10-minute video that captured Floyd’s death. Mutombo was so distraught he couldn’t finish his workout. “I cried yesterday, by myself at the gym,” Mutombo said. “I stopped working out and I cried like for 10 minutes.”
Mutombo considers himself a global citizen. A problem affecting one part of the world – a pandemic, fighting or injustice – is a problem that pertains to everyone. “If you’re living in this planet, if it’s not your concern, that means you don’t live here,” Mutombo said. “You are living in other places. I think George didn’t deserve to die. Don’t tell me someone would get killed no matter the color of his race because of 20 dollars or whatever, 10 dollars. Come on. I’ve seen people do bad things more than that (and) they don’t get killed.”
“The policeman didn’t do nothing, continued to press,” he said. “That’s what Martin Luther King said that our lives begin to end the day we’re becoming silenced about the things that matter. Our lives will mean nothing if I don’t do nothing of the things that’s happening in front of me. You see someone be killed and you don’t speak out about the injustice, then that’s the end of your life because you’re going to be next.”
“I was welcomed to the city like an angel,” Mutombo said. “Like ‘OK, you’re the one who we were looking for.’” The Nuggets had been rudderless after Doug Moe’s sterling run throughout the ’80s. Mutombo gave the Nuggets an imposing, finger-wagging, defensive identity. “(I appreciate) so much that that organization made me the face of the team and the face of the city and it made me their franchise player,” he said. “… I gave that beautiful city almost everything they ask of me.”
Even though Mutombo’s native DRC hasn’t been crushed by COVID-19 cases (69 deaths as of Friday), he brims with excitement that his foundation is helping to feed frontline workers and taking on other local initiatives. “We serve lunch and dinner to four hospitals with more than 80 doctors and nurses, which was great,” he said. “I’m glad that we took those initiatives. In the Congo, right now, we are launching a local mask production, so where we are making masks, we are asking people to start making masks at the foundation headquarters.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
Mutombo, who was hired by the NBA in 2009 as a global ambassador and serves on the boards of the CDC and UNICEF, among others, is privy to the conversations being discussed about the league’s potential return. He’s a part of a weekly video conference that keeps league employees and individual teams up to speed with the myriad decisions the NBA is now facing. “As an employee of the league, as the NBA global ambassador, I would pray that one day we’ll get a chance to resume the season,” Mutombo told The Post in a wide-ranging phone interview.
Dikembe Mutombo: “Right now, nobody knows the time or the date to tell you the truth. Our wish is that, I’m talking as an employee and also as a former player, the NBA would love our games to come back. But we have to take all the precaution necessary to make sure that if we do come back, that everything has to be right. Our commissioner Adam Silver and our deputy commissioner Mark Tatum and their team, they are working day and night, and including our medical teams, are making sure that whatever we’re going to do as a league, that our players will be protected, because no matter what we want to do to bring our game to our fans at this critical time, to our fans who have been supporting us for years, we just want to make sure that we protect our product as well.”
“What the World Health Organization is asking us to do, they’re asking all of us to be part of the solution or causing no more problems,” Mutombo said. “I think we’ve already seen so many deaths already. We’ve already lost so many loved ones. I think every one of us who’s living in America today … I think all of us knows somebody who has died from COVID-19, either a friend or friend of a friend or a family member.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
Justin Kubatko: Dennis Rodman recorded 158 games with at least 20 rebounds in his career, the most such games since the ABA-NBA merger. Rodman’s career total is four more than the combined totals of Hall of Famers Charles Barkley (54), Dikembe Mutombo (52), and Hakeem Olajuwon (48).
Mutumbo was the keynote speaker at the third annual Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame Dinner on Thursday evening at the Savannah Civic Center. Arriving at the club in mid-afternoon, he took some time before the event to discuss his reasons for coming, the radically different NBA which has transformed in the 10 years since he retired and the importance of giving back to the game that changed his life over 30 years ago.
“The game has always changed from one time to the next. In the 1970s it started to become competitive I think and more physical,” he said. “Now — and I call (today’s players) Generation X — none of us who played when I played know. Nobody knows what’s going on in the NBA. I look at myself and wonder if this Dikembe Mutombo could’ve ever played in the NBA if it was like these guys play now. All the shots today just come from too far away. I don’t want to think about having to run to protect the rim and then to cover my man who might be all the way out past the 3-point line.”
Mutombo, whose reputation was formed on the defensive end, marvels at the skill Embiid possesses and has unleashed at his size. He’s even more impressed by the name his play has invoked. “He’s found a way to get compared to Hakeem Olajuwon, skill-wise. He learned a lot from Dream and he does a lot of things that Dream does, Dream did. He’s very talented. Very gifted. A big man who can put the ball on the floor, do what he does. They don’t make too many of them. They don’t make too many of them. I was not a three-point shooter. I think I finished my career 0-for-1 [actually, 0-2] after 18 years. I made my living blocking shots. I was not someone who could come get the ball, dribble, go left and right, no? Give me the ball, I shoot the hook shot and it would go in. I was not a jump shooter, no. Maybe because I played in a different era.”
Julius Randle, a five-year league veteran who signed with the Knicks this offseson as a free-agent, David Fizdale, the Knicks’ head coach, and Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo were also present at the India Day Parade in NYC. In 2014, Sacramento Kings’ co-owner and chairman Vivek Ranadivé attended the India Day parade along with Sim Bhullar, the first player of Indian-descent to play in an NBA game.
An emotional Dikembe Mutombo hugged NBA commissioner Adam Silver and, in his raspy voice, said: “You made my dreams come true.” The realized dream was Silver announcing the arrival of the NBA-driven Basketball Africa League (BAL) in 2020. Silver, who described himself as a “tireless advocate for Africa,” made the announcement at NBA Africa’s annual luncheon during NBA All-Star Weekend on Saturday. It is the NBA’s first professional league outside of North America.
“We did this because players like Dikembe pointed to the opportunity that existed, not just in basketball, but the sports industry throughout the continent,” Silver told The Undefeated. “He and I have been there together at least four times since I’ve been commissioner. And through conversations with FIBA and local ministers of sport, we realize that there is enormous opportunity to continue to grow the game.”
Falk: From the very beginning Billy Hunter was very, very opaque. He did not provide much information. He didn’t communicate much. I told my clients, “Listen, this is your livelihood and if I can’t access Billy, then you have to get involved and know what’s going on and sit down and plan out strategies on how to protect your interests.” They’re intelligent people. Patrick is a very intelligent man. Juwan Howard is a very intelligent man. Alonzo is a very intelligent man. Dikembe Mutombo is a very intelligent man. People accused me of trying to hijack the union—you couldn’t pay me a billion dollars a year to run the union. I have zero interest in doing that. But I think if I’m going to do my job for my clients, it’s important that I understand the dynamics of what’s going on. And so that’s why I had to get involved.
When NBA Hall of Famer and philanthropist Dikembe Mutombo, a Congolese American who has built a hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was visiting his homeland recently, he noticed that people weren’t shaking hands with others who came from areas in the DRC where Ebola virus is spreading. “The fear is there, of not knowing who has it or where the risk is,” he said, describing the Congo’s current outbreak, now the second-deadliest in history.
Mutombo, who at 7-foot-2 has to duck under every doorway he encounters, was at Emory University Hospital Jan. 18 to tour the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit (SCDU) and talk with Emory infectious disease experts. “I am delighted to see this facility I’ve heard so much about,” said the former Atlanta Hawks player, who lives in Buckhead. “We are about to launch a new pathology lab at our hospital (in the DRC) so I am also very interested in the attached clinical laboratory.”
The little boy who came over from the Congo — with a major assist from retired NBA star Dikembe Mutombo — is on the operating table right now, and by day’s end, he could be tumor free. TMZ has learned 8-year-old Matadi went into surgery Sunday at 11:30 AM PST at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. We’re told the operation is expected to last around 6 hours. His family is at the hospital waiting on word from doctors.
Dikembe Mutombo flew an 8-year-old boy from Africa with a large tumor on his face — who’s been shunned by society — to Los Angeles … so he could be operated on by a team of American doctors. TMZ Sports saw Mutombo at LAX … when he told us the heartwarming story. The NBA Hall of Famer says he met the young boy back in September at the hospital he built in Congo … and immediately knew he wanted to help.
Basketball Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo, a fearsome 7-foot-2 center in his playing days, said Tuesday he was moved to tears at the sight of Jerusalem’s ancient walls. Mutombo, who hails from a devout Christian community in Congo, described his first visit to the holy city as an emotional experience. He said he thought about his parents, who died before they could see the place they had spent their lives reading about in the Bible.
In the decade since his retirement, Mutombo has invested millions in philanthropic causes in his native country and abroad. He said he feels at home in his new role as a humanitarian ambassador, especially since the NBA’s golden days of defense are long gone. “All the young kids these days shoot hoops like they’re shooting guns,” he said. “I wouldn’t have lasted more than a year.”
Here’s more from the Nuggets on the uniforms: In 2018-19, the current update of the City Edition uniform was a joint project between the Denver Nuggets and NIKE. The new design is meant to honor the classic design while modernizing it to fit the Mile High City’s advancement, evolution and modernization that is taking place in the present era. The return of the Rainbow Skyline uniforms marks 25 years since the design was originally retired as the team’s main uniforms. The last time the Nuggets team wore the classic version of the uniform was for a one-night-only special event during Dikembe Mutombo’s jersey retirement ceremony on Oct. 29. 2016. Per the Nuggets, the team will wear the City Edition uniforms seven times this season, with the first game coming on Nov. 13.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame attended a reception hosted by the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the NBA leadership, team owners and players. Participants included Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner; Larry Tanenbaum, NBA Chairman of the Board of Governors; owner of the Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto FC; Wes Edens, Owner of the Milwaukee Bucks; Masai Ujiri, President of Toronto Raptors, and Dikembe Mutombo, NBA Hall of Famer.
BL: When did you first realize that you could be an ambassador for basketball in Africa? DM: I think on my draft day. Being the third NBA player from Africa, I have a responsibility to make sure that all the kids on the continent would play the game, that they did play, and also would get a chance to make it to the NBA because my challenge in life was to make sure that I was not the last Dikembe Mutombo playing in the NBA or the last Hakeem Olajuwon. And so I was making sure that we keep that door open for the next generation and I think that I did a good job of that.