Saturday, January 20, 2007

Scaling Mt. Mutombo

I was all set to post about the Rockets and then Norbizness said everything I was thinking (and more, and better):

The most interesting senior citizen player in the NBA reached a milestone (on January 10), as a rejuvenated Dikembe Mutombo collected 19 rebounds and 5 blocks to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as second on the league's all-time blocks list. More importantly, I think he's some sort of prince, he speaks 12 languages, he probably never used "Who wants to sex up Mutombo?" as a pick-up line at college bars in DC (although he should have), and, most importantly:

A well-known humanitarian, Mutombo started the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation to improve living conditions in his native Democratic Republic of Congo in 1997. His efforts earned him the NBA's humanitarian award in 2001. In the same year, ground was broken for a hospital in his hometown, the Congolese capital of Kinshasa, with Mutombo personally donating $3.5 million toward the hospital's construction. On August 14, 2006, Dikembe donated $15 million to the completion of the now named Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital, named for his mother. When it opens in February 2007, the $29 million facility will become the first modern medical facility to be built in that area in nearly 40 years.

The Rockets, despite injuries to their two main players at different points in the season, are inexplicably 23-13 after blowing out the paper-tiger Lakers (January 10). Unfortunately, they are jockeying for midseason position in the Western Conference, which has approximately 100% of the top teams in the league. Put another way, teams like the Clippers that miss the playoffs in the West would probably be 3 or 4 seed in the pathetic, interest-less Eastern Conference.

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