HoopsVibe Interviews NBA Legend Dikembe Mutombo
HoopsVibe was fortunate enough to speak with former NBA All-Star Dikembe Mutombo
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Mutombo is the latest pitch-man for Old Spice’s “Champion Scent” line of products.
During his 18 year playing career, “Mt. Mutombo” was one of the most intimidating shot blockers and rebounders of all time, leading the league in blocked shots five times and rebounds four times. Mutombo was an eight time All-Star and appeared in the NBA FInals with the Philadelphia 76ers.
HoopsVibe: Tell us about the game (which can be found at oldspicesavestheworld.com). According to the site you have 4 ½ weeks to save the world before the end of the Mayan calendar, correct?
Dikembe Mutombo: Yes, Iteam up with Old Spice to promote the computer game and we have to save the world in 4 ½ weeks. Also to promote Champion Scent from Old Spice. It’s a wonderful game for everybody to play.
HV: Let’s talk about Georgetown. You played there with Alonzo Mourning and a lot of other great players; Why couldn’t you and Zo win a national title?
DM: Man, that is a major question that will haunt us for the rest of our lives. We had a chance and ultimately went to NBA to become dominant centers and we had opportunities to win in college. The opportunity was there, and we just didn’t do it.
HV: How did the finger wave come to become your signature move?
DM: It happened after my third year just before we beat the Seattle Supersonics in 1994 NBA playoffs. I was having such a great year and blocking shots and moving up in the league. I used to block the shot and then I would shake my hand and no one said nothing. One day I decided shaking the hand doesn’t really mean nothing- maybe the best way to not come into the House of Mutombo it’s best to wave my finger, so it worked out very cool. But it ended up getting me a lot of technicals.
HV: How did the NBA come to ban that? Does David Stern call you personally?
DM: It came from the players. You would hear from someone like Phil Jackson or something, that maybe you better stop what you’re doing it’s costing you a lot of money. It was good for me to do in the players face, but if I could face the fans and wave my finger away from the players face, it would be great. That’s why you see in the last five years I started doing it away from the players face. So I don’t have to lose a couple of thousand dollars (laughing).
HV: Who was your favorite NBA player to block?
DM: That’s a good question. To me, not just one in particular. But I think playing against Shawn Kemp. He was such a high jumping, athletic player.
HV: How gratifying was it to be the first eight seed to beat a one seed when your Nuggets beat Kemp’s Sonics?
DM: One of my proudest successes of my career. But I’m happy to promote the Old Spice game now. I want everyone to go to the website on your computer and play the game to save the world we only have four and a half weeks so we better do it!
To play “Dikembe Mutombo’s 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World“, click here.