“In many ways, my job in soccer was like my job in basketball now. I had to protect the goal. That was the name of the game, not letting the other team score.”

--Hakeem Olajuwon, who played soccer goalie as a child growing up in Nigeria

“He changes your shots when he’s in the game. He also changes your shots when he’s out of the game because you get so used to trying to throw it over him, you forget when he’s not there.”
--Cliff Levingston, on playing against 7’4” Utah Jazz center Mark Eaton

“Hey mom, have you heard da word? No more flyin’ like a Bird. No more Mail Delivery.
He don’t come into da key.”

--Lyrics from “Dikembe Block,” a song referring to Dikembe Mutombo

“When you’re playing him it’s like going through the tunnel of love. All you feel is hands, knees and elbows all over you.”
--Walt Frazier, on why Jerry Sloan of the Chicago Bulls was a tough defensive guard