Skip to main content

Dikembe Mutombo explains why he played some of his best games against Michael Jordan

michael-jordan-dikembe-mutombo-min

The '90s were indeed a golden era for NBA centers. We had a bunch of great big men dominating the NBA and clashing with each other in the paint on a nightly basis. From the big dogs like Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, and Shaquille O'Neal to the overshadowed guys like Alonzo Mourning, Rik Smits, Brad Daugherty, and Dikembe Mutombo. It was a challenging time to be a center in the league, but also the most fun one.

But even though it was the time of the big men, the most dominant player of the '90s was still Michael Jordan. On his way to his six championships, MJ faced all of these guys and found a way to get the better of them one way or another. One of them was Dikembe Mutomobo. Far from the most talented or skilled player, "Mountain Mutombo" built an impressive career with his impeccable defensive prowess.

4x DPOY's and 6-All-NBA defensive nods do not do justice to Mutombo's defense in the paint, as he was one of the best rim protectors the NBA has ever seen. His infamous finger wag became an iconic signature move after blocking his opponents. So naturally, the always competitive MJ wanted to get the best out of the best defensive center and get that dunk on him. Eventually, like always, Jordan would succeed.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

The two had some great battles and always got up for playing each other. Mutombo had one of his best NBA games precisely against Jordan, scoring 29 points alongside 22 rebounds and 3 blocks in a win back in 1993.

Recently Dikembe reminisced on those battles and shared why he loved playing against Jordan and the Bulls in the '90s:

"Everybody was looking (forward) to play against Michael Jordan. That's the reason why the day we played the Chicago Bulls (in 93), I think I had like my 29 points and then 22 rebounds because you can see the excitement after what's going on with me, and we end up beating them which was great. I think those are the games that gave me a chance also to elevate myself as an All-Star… But Michael was as funny as he was always and pleasing his friends by closing his eyes and shooting free throws. I was like what is this guy doing, what the heck."

Dikembe Mutombo, BTM Basketball Time Machine

Mutombo maybe had one of the best signature celebrations with his finger wag, especially considering he was such an elite blocker. But no one could outshine and out trash talk the great Michael Jordan. Even though Jordan won against everyone, a lot of players from that era still speak fondly of those battles due to the excitement and spotlight of playing some of the best teams ever, just like Dikembe said. After all, beating a prime Michael Jordan was a challenging task, leaving no opponent too devastated after losing to those Bulls teams. 

draymond-green-weeding-min

Draymond Green had a huge blunt station at his wedding

No wonder LeBron, Curry, Tatum, and numerous other NBA stars had such a great time at Draymond's wedding.

skip-bayless-lebron-james-bronny-james-min

Skip Bayless takes a dig at Bronny James' monster dunk: "Your dad would have done it better!"

It seems like Skip is planting seeds to hate on the next generation of LeBron James and his family.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Channing Frye

“Everyone loves this conversation, but stop it, because the things that you judge it by is never the same.” — Channing Frye hates the GOAT debate

Frye explains why Shaquille O'Neal's percieved value has depreciated over time because of the GOAT conversation.

Michigan State Spartans center Anthony Ianni and forward Draymond Green

Why ex-teammate Anthony Ianni calls his friendship with Draymond Green a blessing in disguise

A great story explaining why Draymond is beloved by teammates, despite his abrasive character.

Golden State Warriors head coach Keith Smart instructs point guard Stephen Curry

“He didn't believe that much in Steph and would bench him a lot” — Jeremy Lin opens up about the rocky relationship between Steph Curry and his former coach Keith Smart

During Steph's second year in the league, he was often yelled at, benched during the 4th quarter, and reprimanded by his former coach, Keith Smart.

Paul Westhead, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Lakers

“When you try to reign in a 22-year-old elite athlete from pushing himself to be his best, you’re going to get conflict.” — Kareem weighs in on the Magic vs. Westhead issue

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar walked down memory lane and shared his take on the issue between Magic Johnson and Paul Westhead back in the day.