Thursday, August 24, 2006

 

How Much Did I Just Give?

NBA's favorite big man with seven names, Dikembe Mutombo (Mpolondo Mukamba Jean Jacque Wamutombo), announced that he would donate $15 million dollars to build a 300-bed hospital in his home country of Congo.

Now, this is a generous act. No question about it. But, then comes the news today that the NBA's version of Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez (he says he's 38, but Jeff Van Gundy seems to think that he's "probably 48 and might be 58) wants to play at least two more seasons. This could turn out to be a great story if he can come back and play significant minutes in the Association. However, it got us to thinking....


Why?

Is it possible that Dikembe, who's earned over $110 million in his career, might be having some "buyer's remorse?" I highly doubt it. He doesn't seem to be the kind of guy who spends his "bank" on extravagant things. Maybe some extra tall slacks here and there and a Premium Cable package. I don't think he's dipping into his Disney Vacation coin jar.

Is it really that hard to realize when your time to hang up the old size twenty-two's has come? We've seen in before in sports when guys just don't know when to quit. Is it time for Dikembe to stay at home and write the crime novel he's had floating around? Maybe.

Personally, I think that he could be a serviceable big man in the NBA. It's possible. There are always jobs available for 7'2" centers in the NBA. But, does he want to be the 7'2" version of Mateen Cleaves, waiving a towel at the end of the bench?

Another question we have to ask is whether or not the NBA has a need for a lumbering 7'2", 38(ish) year old, center anymore? A guy like this would not even see any playing time against such teams as the Suns or the Nuggets (who look fast this year) or anyone else with a young athletic big man. The NBA just doesn't seem to suit him and his style of play. We talk about the style of play in America being "quick" and dominated by "slashers." Well, we saw that with Dwyane Wade putting a tired Shaq on his shoulders and winning a championship. Shaq, one of the most dominant 'bigs' in NBA history, wasn't even really a factor. Is the bump and grind style of play that Shaq and Deke are used to becoming extinct? Look at it this way: do you think Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh with their quick footwork would have a field day down low against Mutombo? I certainly do.

So, Dikembe, we love you and all, but I think you may be better off recording a record with Bono. You and your seven names, and Bono and his one. Interesting...


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