Former Houston Rockets center and Naismith Basketall Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumor, according to a statement released by Mutombo’s family via the NBA.
Mutombo played 18 seasons in the NBA for the Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks and Rockets. Eight-time All-Star, four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, six-time NBA All-Defense Team nominee, three-time All-NBA Team nominee, two-time rebounding champion, three-time blocking champion and is second all-time in total blocks with 3,289 (nearly 600 behind Hakeem Olajuwon).
However, Mutombo is best known to Rockets fans for heading to H-town in the twilight of his career to support Yao Ming. He played a major role on the bench for the Rockets’ playoff teams in the 2000s, replacing Yao’s many injuries, including during Houston’s famous 22-game winning streak in 2008. effect, always to the delight of the crowd.
Mutombo is also a famous humanitarian, including starting a $29 million hospital in his hometown of Kinshasa, Congo, major work with the Special Olympics, and various other ventures with his Mutombo Foundation.
Deke has a major battle ahead of him with this latest news, however. Fortunately, a brain tumor is not a guaranteed death sentence with our modern medical achievements, but Mutombo, 56, is asking for privacy in what is sure to be a difficult time for him and his family.
We wish you nothing but the best and a full and speedy recovery, Deke!