Rockets' Mutombo Injures Knee, Calls It Quits

Jason ColdironCorrespondent IApril 22, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - FEBRUARY 16:  Basketball player Dikembe Mutombo attends 2008 National Basketball Players Association Gala at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on February 16, 2008 in New Orleans Louisiana.  (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

After injuring his knee in a collision with Blazers Center Greg Oden, Rockets Center Dikembe Mutombo has announced his retirement.

 

"For me, basketball is over," he said.

 

"I've had a wonderful 18 years of staying injury-free, so I just want to go out with my head up, no regrets," he said.

 

"Dikembe is one of the statesmen of this league," Shane Battier said. "There's not a better guy. To see him in pain is tough to see. He cares so much about this game that he doesn't want to end his career like that. That's the tragedy of it, too."

 

Mutombo is an eight-time all-star who has won the NBA's defensive player of the year four times.

 

In 1,196 career games, Mutombo has averaged 9.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.7 blocks, second all-time.

 

He is perhaps known even more off the court with his humanitarian efforts. He founded the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation in 1997 to benefit the people of his homeland in the Congo, among others.