Dikembe Mutombo suffered a horrible fall on Tuesday night, tangling legs with Greg Oden before crumbling to the ground. He stayed down for quite some time, too, before being taken off the floor on a stretcher -- and based on his quotes following the game, Mutombo has played his last professional basketball game.
From the Oregonian (via TrueHoop):
"I'm going to need surgery. For me, basketball is over. I cried so much about it when I was laying on the floor."The tears are certainly understandable: Mutombo has been a part of the NBA for 18 seasons, amassing enough blocks (and subsequent finger wags) to find himself as second all-time with 3,289. Eight All-Star appearances, four Defensive Player of the Year awards and a host of Internet memes don't exactly tarnish his resume either.
It's obviously a big loss for the Rockets because Deke provided excellent backup for Yao Ming, but certainly the most depressing part will be not seeing Mutombo on the floor anymore. Fortunately, as Henry Abbott pointed out on TrueHoop, Mutombo has done more than enough good off the court to remain in the public eye.
Here's to one of the most gracious, personable and humorous big men the game has ever seen.