Mutombo tops first-time Hall candidates

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The look-ahead at the candidates with NBA ties eligible for the first time for the Hall of Fame’s potential Class of 2015 requires no squinting into the distance. It does not require looking at all, come to think of it.

That voice. No one mistakes the sound, part thunder, part Cookie Monster, often accompanied by a fog horn of a laugh.

The visual is so unique, though. No need to see the face, in smile or the scowl of an intimidating defender, or the imposing 7-foot-2, 265-pound frame or the signature No. 55 that followed him through 18 seasons and six teams. Only one form of ID is necessary.

A finger.

An index finger poked into the sky, wagging back and forth a few times, a windshield-wiper admonishment to whatever foolish, naïve opponent with an obvious need to be embarrassed tried to take the ball to the rim against Dikembe Mutombo.

The four-time Defensive Player of the Year, eight-time All-Star and college standout at Georgetown is not only the leading candidate for enshrinement among players eligible for the first time to be nominated, he is the only candidate. Not officially, of course, because the likes of Bruce Bowen and Brent Barry are among candidates beginning with the Class of 2015. But realistically, there is Mutombo alone among peers who last played in 2008-09.

Sitting in the audience Friday night at Symphony Hall as longtime friend Alonzo Mourning was inducted — along with, among others, former commissioner David Stern, a prominent supporter of Mutombo’s years of humanitarian work — may also have been Mutombo getting an advance look around. At the very least, he should breeze through the first round of voting, with results scheduled to be announced at All-Star weekend in New York, before an additional second balloting necessary for candidates in the North America and Women’s categories.

Several NBA carryover contenders will have strong cases, most notably Kevin Johnson, Tim Hardaway and Spencer Haywood. Bowen, Barry, Bobby Jackson, Matt Harpring, Tyronn Lue, Mark Madsen and others are now options. And Chris Webber, Penny Hardaway and Robert Horry could join the field after not being nominated for 2014 enshrinement despite being eligible. Mutombo, though, is the only new name with a chance to make it all the way to Springfield at the earliest opportunity, finger in tow.



  1. patrickmarc says:

    The great instinct of Mutombo, anticipation remarquable.
    and “doigts de fée“.

    Manute Bol was great too with his hands.

    There where both funny men

  2. marlon green says:

    Zo contributed big time to winning the Heat’s 1st title, 2 gold medals, 2 DPOY awards, All-Rookie Team, All NBA team, 7 All-star selections , 12th on all time block list but could have easily been top 5 if it wasn’t for his illness. Also leads the Heat or is now 2nd thanks to Wade in a ton of Heat team catagories. What else do you guys want? Anyway Mutombo deserves to be in the hall as well stop hatin folks and give defensive players their props too. Mt. Mutombo was an all star and 4 time DPOY and what he is doing off the court is major.

  3. Patty says:

    Dikembe Mutombo was a Great Player!!!

  4. eddie green says:

    Most of those names were scrubs when compared to plaryers already in. Nba should be ashamed to even make them eligible. KJ maybe, Tim Hardaway probably, Anfernee Hardaway had some good years but injuries killed his game. Most of the names mentioned are laughable.

  5. charless702 says:

    Alonzo shouldn’t have been a first ballot and neither should Dikembe. I think guys like Dikembe and Bowen should get in eventually but definitely not first ballots. Dikembe enforced the paint and swatted everything that came his way and Bowen locked down the wing and always had a hand in his mans face (he also got screwed out of multiple Defensive Player of the Year Awards because perimeter/man-to-man defense isn’t a stat that shows up in the box score and yes I’m talking about every single year Ben Wallace won.) Seriously though how can Mutombo be a first ballot when he was never a Superstar player? First ballots should be reserved for the best of the best of the best. (I’ll use today’s players so both young and old can relate to what I mean) The Kobe Bryant’s, the Tim Duncan’s, the Lebron James’. Alonzo and Mutombo were never on that level. Don’t take it the wrong way both are HOF in my eyes, they’re just not first ballot HOFers. Also Penny should never get into the HOF and Tim Hardaway should only get in on a slow year. I’m tired of guys getting into the HOF because they had 4 good years.

  6. Tom says:

    I think though in the coming years the hall of fame will get better and better. Am i Right

  7. Mike says:

    The Hall of Fame is quickly becoming a media popularity contest…if players like Madsen are being considered..I can’t even believe his name is in the same sentence as HOF. For what exactly?? Is there a Hall for carrying luggage or giving the franchise player a ride home after a 40+ point game? Dikembe should be recognized as a humanitarian who spread the good of the game. Using fame to benefit others while climbing the ladder of statistical awards and all-star games. I’m a basketball die-hard and if I was standing next to Lue or Madsen in a line…I wouldn’t know who the hell they are.
    There should start to be criteria to even be in the conversation…like a min of 5 all-star games, at lease that shows you were part of the elite DURING your career. Maybe lead the league in a category more than once.
    Neither of these guys were even considered starters…or 6th men for that matter.

    • charless702 says:

      Mutombo would be a HOFer even if he wasn’t a humanitarian. You don’t get in the HOF for doing good deeds. You get in for your accomplishments on the court, and Mutombo has plenty of those.

  8. Al Brown says:

    Where’s Rasheed Wallace??no love for Wallace smh

  9. Zan says:

    tyronn lue’s career average is 8.5PPG. like this isn’t some third party site this is don’t be afraid to forget about and not mention players like him, every single fan has already done it

  10. pokie says:

    Penny, Mo Cheeks(come on!), Robert Horry, and Dikembe.

  11. KILO says:

    Yall need to stop hating on my boy Bruce Bowen. Statistically he wasnt very impressive. But he locked down some of the greatest stars in the game. Every night his mind set was Kobe is gonna have 0 poins, Lebron is gonna have 0 points, Dirk is gonna have 0 points. He was a pest. A monster. His corner 3’s were automatic. Spurs would have 3 less championships if Bruce Bowen would have never existed. The Spurs did horrible from 2008-2013 because here retired. It is extremely hard to replace him and fill in his shoes. He is very deserving in being in the hall of fame. Not because of his stats, but because of his impact to the championship teams he was on.

    • charless702 says:

      I somewhat agree, except for the fact that the Spurs had a lot of success from 08-13. I question if you even watched basketball during that time period. To say they did “horrible” is actually quite laughable. They won 50 or more games every year you listed and they made it to the WCF twice and the NBA Finals once. Anyway he’s definitely deserving of the HOF but I don’t think he’s deserving of a first time entry. Then again I didn’t think Alonzo deserved a first time entry and I also don’t think Mutombo deserves a first time entry either.

  12. read before you comment says:

    Did most of you not read what the writer said? He simply said those players are technically eligible to be considered. Doesn’t mean they have any chance.

  13. Clubber Lang says:

    I did not know HOF was now a synonim of retirement for all NBA players. You just can’t put Harpring, Jackson and Lue (Lue !!! the guy is most famously known for being stepped over by Allen Iverson !) in the HOF, if you do that you have to put everybody, and I mean everybody but loonies like Marbury, Arenas or Blatche in due time.
    How come you can have an hall of famer like Madsen who can not even guarantee you a victory in a pick a up game the year of his enshrinment ?
    How come you can even consider Mark Madsen whereas those in this list are not on it?:
    Horace Grant
    Mark Price
    Shawn Kemp
    Robert Horry
    Ron Harper
    Kevin Johnson
    Tim Hardaway
    AC Green

  14. hbcunetwork says:

    Mutombo – Yes! Brent Barry and Bruce Bowen – No! If either of those two get in then you have to put in players like Andrew Toney and Vinny Johnson. Plus, what about Jack Sikma, Mo Cheeks, and Mark Aguirre. All three of those guys should get in before Penny and Tim Hardaway.

  15. Jake says:

    Dikembe Mutombo was a good player. Other players I think should be in the Hall of Fame are: Shaq, Tracy Mcgrady, Allen Iverson, Jason Kidd, Yoa Ming, Ben Wallace, Chris Webber, Kevin Johnson, Tim Hardaway, and Penny Hardaway.

  16. Tak says:

    I know Tyronne Lue only because Allen Iverson stepped over him. And that gets him into the Hall?

  17. sumumba1 says:

    LOL @ Mark Madsen…REALLY?

  18. sumumba1 says:

    wait did they just say Tyronn Lue and Mark Madsen can be considered?

  19. Grahaml says:

    The field does seem to be getting thin. Seems when you think of a hall of fame guys like Magic, Jordan, Russell, Chamberlain, Robertson are the names you think of. Mutombo was a fine player and very popular, but even he pales in comparison. If he is the leading contender to get in next year, perhaps it’s time for a year or two off.

    • Ronald Mason says:

      Maybe you did not follow basketball through College and the NBA , retrace your steps and google DK Mutumbo , and you will see why he would be eligible to be elected on his first ballot . Have a great day

  20. dung says:

    bruce bowen, matt harpring, brent barry, mark maden, and tyronn lue. Thats gotta be a joke.

  21. mikegr says:

    Next in line should be Dikembe, Allen Iverson, Sidney Moncrief, Jack Sikma, Jo Jo White, Alvin Robertson, Tim Hardaway, Larry Foust. And a couple more years for Shaq and Ben Wallace 😀

  22. FanFrSingapore says:

    Spencer Haywood. Bowen, Barry, Bobby Jackson, Matt Harpring, Tyronn Lue, Mark Madsen ????????? WHAT IS THIS???
    Get the two Hardaways with Mutombo will be a great for 2015 Hall.

  23. KratosRage says:

    Dikembe is so deserving to be in the hall of fame no doubt.

  24. Pizzle says:

    Bruce Bowen, Ty Lue, Bobby Jackson, Mark Madsen??? All role players none are HOF candidates seriously. Maybe giving some overseas stars who didn’t play in the NBA a spot would be fair or is it the NBA (role players) Hall of Fame?

    • charless702 says:

      LMAO. You’re an idiot. You have no idea what the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is do you? The fact that you said “Maybe giving some overseas stars who didn’t play in the NBA a spot would be fair” tells us all just how much you know about the game of Basketball and the HOF.

  25. Michael says:

    Mutombo is number 2 all time for career blocks. What’s really incredible is he’s more than 500 blocks away from number 1: Hakeem Olajuwon.

  26. 76ers says:

    This is just sad. Where the hell is Maurice cheeks? Its about damn time if players like matt and lue is even considered.

  27. mike jordan says:

    if that’s the case, why not enshrine all the nba players..

  28. mike jordan says:

    Alonzo mourning deserves that..if it wasn’t for his shot blocking, Miami heat could not have won the championship..but I believe, there are more familiar names not yet enshrined, compared to those who had been..Robert horry is an automatic many players have won as many championships as horry?, except his former all star team mates

  29. C_Lo says:

    The Hall of fame should be called the Hall of Shame. Tyronne Lue??? Bobby Jackson??? Im done!

  30. Matthew Glew says:

    How could jamal mashburn not be getting mentioned before Matt harpring or Tyronn lue. Terrible


      I was saying the same thing…minus the mashburn thing. Lue will be remembered as the dude AI stepped over in the 2001 NBA FINALS. Smh if he or harpring gets in the hall of game is a joke now smh

  31. Bruno Entringer says:

    Mutombo, Webber, K.J, Hardway and Kukoc. Why even thinking anyone else. Matt Harpring? Brent Barry? Hell NO.

  32. jkrich says:

    I agree. Alonzo Mourning was a legend. How many players were diagnosed with a near life threatening desease and stayed in the NBA? Let alone be a 2 time defensive player of the year, averaged a career 3 blocks per game! That’s right not 2, 3!!! And he won a championship! Sure he came in off the bench when they won but zo was not in his prime anymore and still was an impressive backup center. Look at players like mj for example. He only averaged 20 ppg in washington after having a career averag of 34 ppg before going to washington. And he was still playing big minutes and he still dropped his stats drastically! Zo only played 20 minutes per game! He still got 12 ppg, 5 rpg, and 2 bpg. In just 20 flipping minutes! Could mj do that out of his prime and have kidney disease? I don’t think so.

    • jkrich says:

      And I don’t mean that out of malice to mj. I totally respect mj but he was not the one with kidney disease. Playing in one game in the finals with the flu is one thing, but playing for most of your career with kidney disease? That’s something that only superman would do.

    • Achutha says:

      Okay, I get that Zo was a great center. Great on defense and underrated on offense. I also understand that he came back from a kidney disease and played remarkably well, but Jordan was averaging 20 at the age of 40 and the first player to score 43 at the age of 40. MJ, if he was a center, would definitely do what Zo did just because of his sheer will power. MJ is a SG and Zo is a center, so it doesn’t make sense to compare the two. That doesn’t take anything away from Zo, though.

  33. Eder says:

    I love Dikembe Motumbo,one of my favorite players of all time.

  34. MadMike says:

    Basketball HOF is such a farce. Alonzo Mourning should not have been elected, but the talent pool is so thin they had to let him in. I can’t believe he’s lumped in with the Jordan’s Bird’s and Magic Johnson’s of the basketball world. I can’t even recall him doing all that great for Georgetown. It’s like if a player makes a few All Star appearances they are a shoe in for the Hall, and the All Star is based on popularity over substance. I was a big fan of Mitch Richmond but what did he do to deserve HOF consideration?
    Next year it’s Mutombo! Come On! He blocks 2 shots a game and suddenly they remember him as a legend? Why is Tyronn Lue even on the ballet? I can make a case for Chris Webber for his fab five days, but it’s getting so thin out there that they are allowing role players into the Hall and it doesn’t make sense.