On this day 22 years ago, one of the most renowned rim-protectors in NBA history decided to throw a block party against the Golden State Warriors. Nuggets center Dikembe Mutombo swatted away 10 Warrior attempts that night.
Who knows how many more he altered into misses on his way to the kind of stat line you don’t see much nowadays out of players not named “Anthony Davis.” In addition to his 10 stuffs, Mutombo also dunked his way to 21 points and snagged 16 boards to complete the triple-double, the first of 10 such games in his career.
Game Notes to Consider
Judging from the box score, there doesn’t seem to be much else noteworthy that occurred in this contest, outside of Dikembe’s stellar effort. Not many of the other names or stat lines from the game really move the needle much.
Latrell Sprewell started at shooting guard for the Warriors, but he finished with only 13 points on 3 of 13 shooting, and I’d be willing to bet dollars to donuts that a couple of those 13 attempts were turned back by Mutombo. Only eight warriors saw floor time that night – Mutombo finished with 10 denials. I wouldn’t be surprised if The Finger-Wagger blocked every single one of them at least once.
Dikembe Mutombo’s Career Stats
Mutombo finished third in the league in blocks per game that ‘92-‘93 season, but would then go on to lead the league in that category for the next three years running (with ridiculous averages of 4.1, 3.9 and 4.5 in that span).
Following that three-year reign, he finished no lower than fifth for the next six years in a row, making for a streak of eleven straight years that he would finish in the top-5. He led the league in total swats five times, and is second all-time on the career blocks list with a mind-boggling 3,289 stuffs. Now that’s what I call rim-protection.
With numbers like that, Dikembe can wag his finger at just about anybody he feels like – no questions asked. Today we pay homage to one of the all-time great defensive centers in league history.