Making Dikembe Mutombo happy is a universally good thing. A wildly philanthropic man with a huge heart, Mutombo was once named the most generous athlete in the world by Fox Sports. His relationship with society is purely symbiotic -- a rarity today, but one that deserves all the recognition available.
So when Sept. 1 was declared “Dikembe Mutombo Day” in Fulton County, Georgia, it was, undoubtedly, a better day for all. As the day went on, it only got better. On Tuesday night in Atlanta, at a ceremony for Mutombo's day, the Atlanta Hawks upped the ante.
With an unsuspecting Mutombo in the audience, Hawks CEO Steve Koonin made a surprise announcement that his No. 55 would be retired and raised to the rafters at Phillips Arena during a nationally televised game against the Boston Celtics on Nov. 24.
Has there ever been a happier-looking man?
Mutombo, clenching his heart while emotion washed over him, was completely shocked by the news.
“The most surprising, as you can see from the tears in my eyes, is the announcement that was made,” Mutombo told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s the most shocking to me ... I didn’t know the Hawks were going to retire my jersey. I can’t believe it. It’s going to be a great day.”
While Mutombo can look forward to that Nov. 24 date, this September is still full of scheduled accolades for Mutombo. On Sept. 11, his 18-year NBA career, which concluded in 2009, will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
We can't wait to see a few of these included in his Hall of Fame speech:
YES, YES, YES.
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