Mutombo, Issel and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf were catalysts to the Nuggets making the playoffs in 1993-94—a young team not expected to do so in the first place. Each played a roll in the first-round win.
Abdul-Rauf knocked down threes and free throws (93.5 percent), Mutombo played incredible defense and Issel taught them how to win. He was a teacher and leader of young men (the starting five only averaged 2.6 years in the league).
And even though no one gave them a chance, the No. 8 Nuggets upset the No. 1 Seattle SuperSonics 3-2, a team that featured Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp and Detlef Schrempf.
At the end of the series-clinching contest, Dikembe Mutombo cried with joy and so did many Denver diehards.
It was the first time in the history of the NBA that the lowest-seeded team beat the top team, and the Nuggets nearly pulled off another awe-inspiring upset by taking the Utah Jazz to seven games in the Western Conference Semis.
Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking a career in journalism. Along with being your CSU Rams Examiner, Kurtzman writes for Blake Street Bulletin, Stadium Journey, Bleacher Report and Swoosh Nation.
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