NBA Legend Dikembe Mutombo Undergoing Treatment for Brain Tumor

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVOctober 15, 2022

CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 20: NBA Legend, Dikembe Mutombo poses for a portrait with the Global Ambassador Award during the 22nd Annual NBA Legends Awards as part of 2022 NBA All Star Weekend on February 20, 2022 at Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Basketball Hall of Fame center Dikembe Mutombo is receiving treatment for a brain tumor in Atlanta.

The NBA released the following statement regarding Mutombo and his condition on Saturday:

NBA Communications @NBAPR

The following was released by the NBA. <a href="https://t.co/LdK0EuwK7o">pic.twitter.com/LdK0EuwK7o</a>

In the press release, the NBA noted that Mutombo is in "great spirits" and will receive "the best care possible" from a team of specialists.

Mutombo, 56, is widely regarded as one of the greatest defensive centers in NBA history. The 7'2" big man stifled opposing players during an 18-year NBA career from 1991 through 2009 that saw him play for the Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks and Houston Rockets.

He was originally the No. 4 overall pick in the 1991 NBA draft out of Georgetown by the Nuggets, and he went on to earn eight All-Star berths, six NBA All-Defensive Team selections, four NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards, three block titles and two rebounding titles.

In 1,196 regular-season games, Mutombo averaged 9.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks while shooting 51.8 percent from the field.

Affectionately known as "Mt. Mutombo," he is second in NBA history with 3,289 career blocks and ranks 20th on the all-time NBA rebounding list with 12,359.

Thanks to his on-court excellence, Mutombo's No. 55 jersey has been retired by both the Nuggets and Hawks, which are the two NBA teams he is most synonymous with.

Mutombo, who was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has done a great deal of humanitarian work on his home continent of Africa since retiring.

He is an NBA global ambassador with a special focus toward growing the game of basketball in Africa, and he played a significant role in the NBA Africa exhibition games played in South Africa in 2015, 2017 and 2018.