One of the greatest defender and global ambassadors of the NBA will be honored in a special way during the 2015-16 NBA season. When the Atlanta Hawks face the Boston Celtics on November 24th here at Philips Arena, former Hawks center Dikembe Mutombo will see his number 55 jersey retired.
According to Hawks. com,
Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club CEO Steve Koonin and President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Mike Budenholzer announced earlier today that the organization will retire Dikembe Mutombo’s No. 55 uniform in a special ceremony on November 24th when the Hawks host the Boston Celtics at Philips Arena. The announcement was made during a ceremony recognizing today as Dikembe Mutombo Day in Fulton County.
“There are very few players who have had the impact on- and off-the-court that Dikembe has had, and he’s very deserving of this honor,” Koonin said. “As a player, man and humanitarian, he represents everything we want to be associated with. November 24th is going to be a memorable night in our franchise’s history, in Atlanta, in Fulton County, and for Dikembe and his family.”
Mutombo, who will be enshrined into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 11, spent five seasons (343 games) with the Hawks (1996-2001), finishing with averages of 11.9 points, 12.6 rebounds, 3.2 blocks and 1.2 assists in 36.2 minutes (.529 FG%).
He ranks third in franchise history in career field goal percentage (.529), blocks (1,094) and rebounds per game (12.6), seventh in defensive rebounds (3,093) and ninth in offensive rebounds (1,228) and minutes per game. He holds the second (277, 1997-98), fourth (269, 1999-00) and fifth positions (264, 1996-97) on the franchise list for most blocks in a single season, and has the sixth-best field goal percentage season (.562, 1999-00) in club history.
Overall, he played 18 years in the league (1,196 games), ranking second in NBA history in blocked shots (3,289) and 19th in rebounds (12,359), averaging 9.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 1.0 assists in 30.8 minutes (.518 FG%). He was a four-time Defensive Player of the Year (tied for the most in league history), eight-time All-Star and is the only two-time winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.
Mutombo will join Hawks legends Dominique Wilkins (#21), Lou Hudson (#23), Bob Pettit (#9) and Ted Turner as those honored in Philips Arena’s rafters.
Congrats Dikembe Mutombo, this honor is well deserved. Stay tuned to HHS1987 for all your Atlanta Hawks and NBA news.
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