Nuggets to Retire Dikembe Mutombo's #55 Jersey
Denver, Sept. 26, 2016 – As part of the 2016-17 home-opener festivities, the Denver Nuggets will retire former legend Dikembe Mutombo’s #55 jersey, President and Governor Josh Kroenke announced today.
Mutombo was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in September 2015 and will become the fifth player and sixth representative in team history to have his number enshrined in the rafters. He joins fellow Nuggets greats Byron Beck (#40), Alex English (#2), Dan Issel (#44), David Thompson (#33) and Doug Moe, who coached the team to a franchise-record 432 wins. This will mark the first time that the Nuggets have retired a player’s number at Pepsi Center.
Drafted fourth overall by Denver in the 1991 NBA Draft, Mutombo played for the Nuggets from 1991 to 1996, compiling averages of 12.9 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.81 blocks in 391 total games. As a member of the Nuggets, Mutombo was a three-time NBA All-Star (‘92, ’95 and ’96), three-time NBA blocked shots leader (‘93-94, ’94-95, ’95-96), named Defensive Player of the Year in ‘94-95 and was instrumental in helping the Nuggets become the first eighth-seeded team to defeat a number one seed in NBA Playoff history. Mutombo still remains the Nuggets all-time leader in blocked shots (1,486) and career rebounding average (12.3 per game) while ranking third in rebounds (4,811) and 19th in points (5,054).
In addition to his on-court accolades, Mutombo’s humanitarian efforts shine even brighter. He created the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation in 1997, opened the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007 and has been one of the leaders of the Basketball Without Borders program in Africa for over 15 years. Former NBA Commissioner David Stern appointed Mutombo to the role of Global Ambassador in 2009.
“Dikembe Mutumbo was a perennial all-star on the court, and despite all of his numerous athletic accomplishments, he has somehow managed to have an even bigger impact off of the court through his charitable foundation and his present role as a global ambassador for the NBA,” stated Kroenke. “He has helped bring awareness to issues impacting his homeland continent of Africa and through his hospital he is already changing and saving lives. It is our privilege to honor Dikembe by retiring his #55 jersey during halftime of our opening night game. It will be a night Nuggets fans won’t want to miss as we will be wearing our iconic rainbow skyline uniforms to commemorate the special event and Dikembe’s Hall of Fame career.”
The Nuggets will hold the jersey retirement ceremony during halftime of the home-opening game vs. Portland on Oct. 29. For one night only, the Nuggets will wear the iconic “Rainbow Skyline” throwback uniforms worn during Mutombo’s rookie season in Denver.
Individual tickets for this game will go on sale on Sept. 30. Tickets are available now as part of both full and partial season ticket packages on Nuggets.com.