HOUSTON, May 24 (AP) -- Dikembe Mutombo wants a 17th season in the NBA.

The 40-year-old Mutombo was contemplating retirement after the Houston Rockets were ousted by the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. But dinner with Hakeem Olajuwon changed all that.

"To have someone like that, who I admire so much, tell me I have too much to offer to walk away meant a great deal. What Hakeem had to say really motivated me,'' Mutombo told Houston television station KRIV.

"I talked with my wife and kids and they want me to play and my brother keeps telling me to play as well,'' Mutombo said.

Mutombo, who is set to be a free agent, said he told Rockets owner Leslie Alexander he wanted to continue playing for the team.

"I'm not going to open the door for anyone else. I just built a home in Houston. The people of Houston have responded to me in a spectacular way,'' Mutombo said.

New coach Rick Adelman said the Rockets have been talking about the team's makeup and a little bit about Mutombo.

"Obviously he showed last year that he could still be a force defensively and when Yao went down he was huge for them,'' Adelman said. "So that's something I'd really evaluate.''


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