Wednesday , Mar , 26 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

NBA to Honor Dikembe Mutombo

"It is a celebration of Dikembe Mutombo’s career as it’s getting close to saying goodbye to the game," Mutombo said, laughing. "Am I putting it correctly or not?"

NBA commissioner David Stern and Rockets owner Leslie Alexander will honor the league’s second-leading shot-blocker of all time and its foremost humanitarian. The Rockets will present Mutombo with an oil painting that depicts many of the key moments in his career, and Alexander will make a $500,000 donation to the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center, the 300-bed hospital named after his late mother that he built in his hometown of Kinshasha, Democratic Republic of Congo. Each fan will be given a commemorative foam finger in honor of his trademark finger wag after a blocked shot.

"I think it’s a good ceremony and a great effort on behalf of the Rockets organization to dedicate a special night for me and the (17) years of my career," Mutombo said. "It seems like a long journey. [Houston Chronicle]