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Rockets news: Dikembe Mutombo recalls breaking Tracy McGrady’s nose back in their Houston days

tracy mcgrady, dikembe mutombo, rockets
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Dikembe Mutombo wasn’t only among the fiercest shot blockers the NBA has ever seen, he also owned one of the sharpest pairs of elbows that opponents and teammates alike were cautious of.

The Hall of Fame center recently met up with fellow Naismith Memorial inductee and former Houston Rockets teammate Tracy McGrady, and two got to reminisce the good old days. Mutombo even jokingly recalled how he contributed to McGrady’s ascent to the hall of greats.

“And too bad I broke his nose too. So people talk about the 22 noses. He was the last victim. I apologize. So if I didn’t break his nose, he wouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame. He showed people how tough he is and he came back.”

Tracy McGrady and Dikembe Mutombo played alongside each other for five season in Clutch City from 2004-2008. The former was the team’s franchise player, tearing up opposing defenses with his unstoppable offensive forays.

Meanwhile, Mutombo was already past his prime in Houston, but he was still a serviceable backup big man, whose elbows were always a menacing threat to anyone in proximity.