In his early NBA years, the league’s most feared defensive force Dikembe Mutombo was a “nugget” and a “hawk”. Recently the Atlanta Hawks, where Mutombo played for 5 seasons, said their former center will be honored.
The Hawks plan to retire Mutombo’s #55 during the Hawks’ game against the Boston Celtics on Nov. 24.
To honor Mutombo’s legacy, the Hawks will also give away giant Mutombo foam hands in the shape of Dikembe’s iconic finger wag. The finger will feature Mutombo’s name, number, and the amount of years that Mutombo was a part of the Atlanta franchise.
During his 18 year playing career, “Mt. Mutombo” was one of the most intimidating shot blockers and rebounders of all time, leading the league in blocked shots five times and rebounds four times.
Mutombo was an eight time All-Star and helped Allen Iverson to reach the 2001 NBA Finals with the Philadelphia 76ers. He played in 1196 NBA games (997 started), averaging 9.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per contest.
Mutombo led the NBA in blocks per game in 5 consecutive seasons. In 99-00 and 00-01 seasons, Mutombo also led the NBA in rebounds per game.
Known for his charity and humanitarian work just as much as for his NBA accomplishments, Mutombo was selected to join the 2015 Basketball Hall of Fame.
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