Former Sixer Dikembe Mutombo Prepares For HOF Induction Ceremony

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Apr 6, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Naismith hall of fame president John Doleva stands with 2015 inductees from left Jerry Coangelo , Dick Bevetta , John Calipari , Louis Dampier , Jo Jo White , Spencer Heywood and Dikembe Mutombo in the 2015 NCAA Men

Former Sixer Dikembe Mutombo Prepares For HOF Induction Ceremony

It was the dead of winter, February 22, 2001. A trade announcement was made, the Philadelphia 76ers had agreed to surrender Theo Ratliff, Nazr Mohammed, Tony Kukoc, and Pepe Sanchez. The Philadelphia 76ers welcomed Rashown McLeod and all-star 7’2″ 265 pound center from Zaire, Dikembe Mutombo.  At that time, Philadelphia was desperate to fine quality players to place around Allen Iverson. Mutombo, among his other accomplishments, was nearly the answer.

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He arrived to play the final 26 games of the season in a Philadelphia uniform, and with the acquisition of Mutombo the Sixers found themselves with the best record in the Eastern Conference.  In fact, the Sixers cruised through the playoffs  and into the 2001 NBA Finals, while Atlanta didn’t make the playoffs again until 2008. In that season in a 76er uniform, Mutombo played very well in the playoffs. He averaged 13.9 points, 13.7 rebounds and 3.1 blocked shots. The Philadelphia 76ers lost to the LA Lakers that year, 4-1 in the championship, where Mutombo faced Shaquille O’Neal. But the trade for Mutombo is certainly one of the most favorable for the 76ers in their history.

Mutombo called Allen Iverson “the little man” in this interview with the Sports Show.

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Mutombo would play one more season with the Philadelphia 76ers, who would find themselves ushed out of the playoffs in fives games. The following year, Mutombo was less effective in the playoffs as the 76ers lost to the Boston Celtics.   And so, on August 2002 the Sixers rolled the dice again, sending the eventual Hall of Fame inductee up the New Jersey turnpike to the Nets, and in return welcomed Keith Van Horn and Todd MacCulloch.

Following his period with the Sixers, Mutombo’s offensive output would decline.  He had averaged 11.6 points per game as a Sixer, the last team he would play for with double digit offense.  He would score half that the following year with the Nets, and would only find the basketball court 24 times that season.

Next: Hall Of Fame Career