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Didier Ilunga-Mbenga

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New York Knicks

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Biography

Background

PROFESSIONAL CAREER:
Mbenga, 7-0, 240-pounds, holds career averages of 1.8 points and 1.5 rebounds over 6.7 minutes in 234 games (four starts) over seven seasons with Dallas, Golden State, L.A. Lakers and New Orleans. The Democratic Republic of Congo-native, who won two NBA titles with the Lakers (2009 & 2010) and last played in the NBA for New Orleans in 2010-11. He spent the last two seasons playing overseas in China (2012) and the Philippines (2013) after beginning his professional career in Belgium (2001-04).

2010-11: Appeared in 41 games (zero starts) for the New Orleans Hornets, averaged 1.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 8.0 minutes.

2009-10 Season: Appeared in 49 games (2 starts), averaging 2.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.59 blocks in 7.2 minutes…recorded one double-double on the year (10 points/12 rebounds)…scored in double-figures twice and grabbed 10+ rebounds twice…led team in rebounds twice and in blocks 10 times…in third career start, posted five points, a career-high 13 rebounds, two assists and a season-high tying four blocks in a career-high tying 30 minutes 11/6 vs. MEM…in second consecutive start (fourth career), posted first career double-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and a season-high tying four blocks in a career-high tying 30 minutes 11/8 vs. NOH…posted six points (3-4 FG), three rebounds and three blocks 1/3 vs. DAL…posted six points (3-4 FG) 1/15 vs. LAC…totaled six points and three rebounds 3/2 vs. IND… scored a career-high 11 points (5-7 FG) 4/9 @ MIN… posted seven points and five rebounds 4/13 vs. SAC… totaled five points and five rebounds 4/14 @ LAC.

2008-09: Appeared in 23 games, averaging 2.7 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.43 steals and 1.04 blocks in 7.9 minutes…scored in double-figures once…led team in blocks six times…blocked two shots in three minutes 11/30 vs. TOR…totaled eight points, three assists and two blocks 2/26 vs. PHO…recorded a career-high three steals 3/1 at PHO…totaled four points, two rebounds and three blocks in 19 minutes 3/3 at MEM…posted a career-high 10 points, four rebounds and a career-high tying five blocks in 17 minutes 3/7 vs. MIN…tallied eight points, three blocks, a career-best four assists, two steals and a block 3/9 at POR…totaled four points, four rebounds and a steal in six minutes 3/12 at SAS…posted eight points and two blocks 4/3 vs. HOU.

2007-08: Appeared in 42 games, averaging 2.0 points and 1.7 rebounds in 7.8 minutes…in 16 games with Golden State, averaged 1.2 points and 1.9 rebounds in 8.1 minutes…posted a career-high seven rebounds and three blocks in 14 minutes 12/5 vs. MIL…tallied seven points, four rebounds, a steal and two blocked shots in 14 minutes 12/9 at LAL…in first game with Lakers, posted two rebounds, a steal and two blocked shots in five minutes 1/21 vs. DEN…posted first points as a Laker with five points and four rebounds in a season-high tying 16 minutes 1/25 at DAL…scored a season-high eight points on 4-of-6 shooting 3/21 vs. SEA…recorded a season-high four blocks 3/28 vs. MEM…totaled four points, three rebounds and a blocked shot in 10 minutes 4/15 vs. SAC.

2006-07: Appeared in 21 games, totaling 17 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots in 79 minutes…posted two blocked shots in nine minutes 12/4 at WAS…totaled three points, four rebounds and a blocked shot in 12 minutes 2/7 vs. MEM…suffered a season-ending torn right ACL in the third quarter 2/7 vs. MEM, missing the remainder of the season…missed 16 games to start the season with a left foot tendon strain.

2005-06: In 43 games with one start, averaged 1.7 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.58 blocks in 5.1 minutes per game…shot 53.3% (32-60 FG) from the floor and 50.0% (10-20 FT) from the line…did not miss a game due to injury but had 38 DNP-CDs and was suspended one game (3/31) for committing a flagrant foul against LeBron James at CLE on 3/29…scored six points in 10 minutes 12/20 at LAL…posted a career-high five blocks in 15 minutes 2/13 vs. NYK…scored all of his season-high eight points on 4-of-4 shooting in eight minutes 4/4 vs. SAC…totaled four points and six rebounds in 12 minutes 4/10 at LAC…in his only start of the season, recorded three points, five rebounds and two blocks in 14 minutes 4/13 at PHO.

2004-05: In 15 games including one start, played 58 total minutes (3.9 mpg), scoring 15 points while totaling eight rebounds and five blocks…posted a season-high tying four points and a blocked shot in two minutes 1/20 vs. LAC…first career start 2/26 vs. PHO—registered four points, one rebound and a blocked shot in 10 minutes…33 DNP-CDs…had three stints on the injured list with a strained right hamstring for a total of 34 games.

CAREER TRANSACTIONS:
Signed by Dallas as a rookie free agent on July 14, 2004… Re-signed by Dallas on July 13, 2006… Waived by Dallas on October 30, 2007… Signed by Golden State on November 17, 2007… Waived by Golden State on January 6, 2008… Signed by the Lakers to a 10-day contract on January 21, 2008… Signed second 10-day contract with Lakers on February 1, 2008… Signed by the Lakers as a free agent on February 11, 2008… Re-signed with the Lakers on September 24, 2008... Signed as a free agent with the New Orleans Hornets on October 13, 2010... Signed as a free agent with the Dallas Mavericks on September 27, 2012... Signed as a free agent with the New York Knicks on October 8, 2014

PERSONAL:
Full name is Didier Ilunga-Mbenga…dual citizen of both the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Belgium…played for Belgium in the 2009 European Basketball Championships…goes by “DJ” because his first name is pronounced similar to those initials…speaks seven languages including three dialects from the Congo, Flemish, French, Portuguese, and English…owns a black belt in Judo…the “M” is silent in the pronunciation of his last name…participated in the fifth annual HOLA Bowla, a fundraising event in the heart of Los Angeles, an organization that provides underserved youth with exceptional programs in academics, arts and athletics…participated in the NBA’s Basketball without Borders program in Johannesburg, South Africa during the summer of 2009.

Complete Bio >

Vitals

Height: 7'0''/ 2.13m
Weight: 250 lbs./ 113.4 kg
Born: December 30, 1980
From: Congo
Draft: Undrafted
NBA Debut: 2004
Years Pro: 7
Previous Teams:
  Dallas Mavericks 2012 - 2012
  New Orleans Hornets 2011 - 2011
  Los Angeles Lakers 2010 - 2010
  New Orleans Hornets 2010 - 2010
  More Previous Teams
Prior to NBA/Country: Kinshasa, DRC

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