Former Nuggets great Dikembe Mutombo turns 48

Mt. Mutombo remains most prolific shot blocker in Denver history
by Aaron Lopez

According to basketball legend, Dikembe Mutombo swatted away a pacifier and then waggled an index finger at the nurses in a Zaire hospital on June 25, 1966.

The rumor has never been confirmed, but one thing became clear over the next few decades: Mutombo was born to play basketball.

From the blocked shots to the trademark finger waggle to his dominance on the glass, Mutombo put together a remarkable NBA career that began with the Denver Nuggets in 1991 and continued with five other teams until his retirement in 2009.

Mutombo, 48, was taken by the Nuggets with the fourth overall pick of the 1991 NBA Draft and served as the centerpiece of Denver’s 1993-94 team that upset the top-seeded Seattle SuperSonics in the first round of the 1994 playoffs.

The image of Mutombo cradling the ball while lying on the floor after Game 5 in Seattle remains one of the most recognized moments in NBA history.

In five seasons with the Nuggets, Mutombo averaged 12.9 points and 12.3 rebounds. He also blocked 1,486 shots, which remains the most in franchise history.

View Photo Gallery: Best of Dikembe Mutombo

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