On the basketball court, Dikembe Mutombo was one of NBA’s best rebounders and most feared defenders. He battled the best, held his ground and eventually made it big, both on and off the court.
But no matter how intimidating the 7’2 Mutombo looks like, it seems that he was the best teammate you could ever have.
Former NBA player Roshown McLeod, who was Mutombo’s teammate with Atlanta Hawks, spoke on what kind of teammate Mutombo was.
“It was a great experience [playing with him],” McLeod said on the Brown and Scoop podcast. “He was the consummate professional.
“Mutombo tries to be a comedian, which makes him even more funny. He’d always tell you he was the best shooter on the team, when he couldn’t shoot a lick,” McLeod recalled.
“And when he was telling a story, all you could do is laugh because he sounded like a cookie monster,” he said.
McLeod added that Mutombo, along with other Hawks players such as Steve Smith, Laphonso Ellis and Grant Long – taught the young guys on how to be professionals, how to be someone that young people can look up to and at the same time carry yourself in a way that was respectful, whether you were in a sports world or a corporate world.
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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