Dikembe Mutombo claims LeBron James, Kevin Durant were scared to dunk on him
Former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo claims that LeBron James and Kevin Durant were scared to dunk on him early in their careers. Mutombo, for his part, was on the downside of his career and even then, players were wary to try their hand at dunking on the 7-foot-2 center.
The Daily Star’s George Mills was on hand for an interview with Mutombo during the NBA London Games 2018 where he was asked which current NBA players he would be most frightened to face and would dare dunk on him. Mutombo’s response is classic, one that you would expect from the former Defensive Player of the Year.
“The list is very long. I like the approach of Blake Griffin, LeBron [James], Kevin Durant. But all those young kids, I call them, some of them played in my era.
Kevin, I think he was a rookie or into his second and third year when I was still playing, LeBron, all them, they didn’t get a chance to get one dunk over me. It’s too bad.
You should ask them that question, why? What happened? I see them today dunking on everybody – what happened when Mutombo was there? Why didn’t you go to the basket?”
Born Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo, the Hall of Famer was known for his finger-wagging taunts at the end of a shot block. Many have been embarrassed by Mutombo who has a great memory of which players have never dunked on him.
At one point during the early part of his career, he reminded Michael Jordan, widely considered the greatest player ever, that he has never dunked on him. But on one play during the NBA Playoffs when the Atlanta Hawks and the Chicago Bulls were playing, Jordan found the perfect opportunity. Catching a pass from the baseline, Air Jordan took off and dunked the ball hard on Mutombo, prompting His Airness to wag a finger in his direction.
LeBron and KD never got the opportunity to do the same. And now they never will.