One of the issues that I think that some of the younger NBA players face is not respecting their elders. To be honest a fair amount of NBA players and even fans have no recollection past Michael Jordan to some of the other great players that came before him or during his reign.
Dikembe Mutombo was one of the elite shot-blockers and to be honest he still might be in the top 10 shot-blockers currently in the NBA at 42 years young. After a game between the Golden State Warriors, he made a comment regarding young Warrior forward Anthony Randolph:
(Courtesy of Golden State of Mind)
We need NBA Classics to show more of the Mutombo games so some of the youngest guys can learn. Everybody is trying me. I don’t know why. That young boy [Anthony Randolph] tried so hard. … He kept telling me, ‘I’m going to get you before the day’s over.’ It’s too bad. He tried, but he didn’t get a chance to dunk on Dikembe Mutombo. He’s not going to be able tell his grandkids, ‘I got Dikembe with one.'”
That is hilarious and to be honest, it might be a little showing that some players in the league might need to rethink their decision to come at Mount Mutombo.
Mutombo’s calling card of the “finger wag” has differentiated him from other shot blockers and to be honest created an image for Mutombo to some players that they should just get out of the way or you get the finger.
Mutombo’s humanitarian work should also not be over-looked and even garnered attention from former president George W. Bush when he invited Mutombo to his State of the Union address back in 2007.
He even funded a hospital that was built in his hometown of Kinsasha in the Congo and was named after his mother, “the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital.”
However, one of things that Mutombo is remembered for is the similarity between his voice and famous Sesame Street character Cookie Monster. It has been used countless in jokes from fans and players alike.
In the end, maybe you should think the next time that you try to challenge Mount Mutombo. At least bring cookies; that could help.