Friday, May 25, 2007

How Mutombo Got His Groove Back

Legend has it that Dikembe Mutombo was born the same day that James Naismith invented basketball in 1891. Over a century later, he refuses to retire and is preparing himself to play again next season. After a lunch with Hakeem Olajuwon and a family meeting, Dikembe decided he offers far too much to the game to deprive the NBA of his presence.
Mutombo has had a stunning career but I’m afraid that coming back this year may break the NBA’s immaculate streak of on-court-death avoidance. The man is a 40-year-old and he’s not only playing the most physical position, but all his value is tied up in his ability to shot-block and box-out the strongest guys in the league.
Not only is he expecting to return next season, he refuses to play for anyone else besides Houston. "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,” suggesting that although every team in the league would want to pick up this fresh free agent, he knows his stellar athleticism belongs on the bench behind Yao and under a brand new coach. Here’s hoping Mutombo can survive another season stroke-free.

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