Basketball: The legendary pick up lines and tales of NBA star Dikembe Mutombo

Former NBA basketball star Dikembe Mutombo. Photo / Getty
Former NBA basketball star Dikembe Mutombo. Photo / Getty

Dikembe Mutombo walks into a bar in the early 1990s.

All near 7'2" of the then-Georgetown basketball star.

"Who wants to sex Mutombo" he shouts in broken English that would one day be famous.

It's one of the urban legends that has endeared him to a legion of NBA fans, many of whom would be pleased to see his jersey number 55 has finally been retired by the Denver Nuggets.

For so long, the amusing story of his bar entry was an urban legend, told variously as occurring at a uni frat party, a house party or a strip club, depending on which corner of the internet you visit.

And the man, inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame last year, had always denied it ever happened.

That was until former Georgetown teammate - and another NBA power centre - Alonzo Mourning tipped him in.

"Yep, there's some truth to that, there's some truth to that," Mourning said when asked about it on ESPN's Highly Questionable last year.

"That was his pick up line ... And it worked!"

Mutombo was and is so much more than a defensive specialist on the court who was second all-time blocks in NBA history across 18 seasons with Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York and Houston.

He is a worldwide ambassador for the game and has contributed untold money and time in helping people in developing countries, like his home in the Congo.

Hardcore Aussie fans would be hard-pressed to forget his shoe ads, some with then-Nugget Jalen Rose, in the mid-90s.

"To be a great shotblocker, you have to use your head," he would explain.

A legion of kids decided after seeing that ad and watching him destroy the likes of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan that they would rather be big shotblockers than scoring machines.

He helped make defending cool with his signature finger wag when sending away one of his 3289 blocks.

Not in Dikembe's house.

"Back then, I would shake my head when I used to block shots," Mutombo told Buzzfeed.

"I really didn't have a signature ... I had to come up with something (for when) I was dominating a game."

The NBA felt the playful finger wag that showed Mt Mutumbo's dominance over his opponents had the potential to incite and they made it an offence punishable by a technical foul and a fine.

But that didn't stop him.

"I lose thousands and thousands of dollars," Mutombo said ahead of the retirement ceremony.

"I was fined $10,000, $5,000, $2,000 for waving my finger.

"It's funny to laugh about it today. But back then, it was a lot of money."

Of course, he didn't always get his own way.

In an animated conversation before the 1997 All-Star game, Mutombo and His Airness had some amusing banter.

"Mike come on man, be for real, you haven't got me yet," Mutombo told Jordan, claiming the GOAT had never dunked on him.

"You haven't got me ... why don't you just go and say it.

"He said 'I'll get you one day'."

And, you guessed it, MJ got him, later that season in when the Atlanta Hawks played the Chicago Bulls in the playoffs.

Jordan put Mutombo on a poster and gave him a taste of his own finger wag.

Don't worry, even though he is retired, he is still making for some great stories.

Young buck Bismack Biyombo is also from the Congo and has a fantastic name that almost sounds like Dikembe's.

Anyway, the young then-Toronto Raptor used the signature finger wave during last year's playoffs and claimed he had permission from the great man.

But a playful Dikembe denied that.

"He said that I gave him permission (to do the finger wag)," Mutombo told TMZ.

"I don't know when did that conversation take place.

"Him and I need to talk this summer.

"He's making me famous."

The man's full name is Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo: "but my friends call me Deke".

You're a legend, Deke.

- news.com.au

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