Great story by Marc Stein over at ESPN (dot) com today. I guess he does more than just break ever single trade in the League.
It seems that after putting up with jokes about his age for nearly 40 years now (I’m pretty sure people were telling them as soon as he emerged from the womb), Rockets
dinosaur center Dikembe Mutombo–who recently became the second leading shot blocker of all time–has had just about enough:
“My wife [Rose] just mentioned that to me a few days ago, she said: ‘Honey, I think this joke has gone on too long and it has to stop. Is there a way you can tell the commissioner during the All-Star break to let the world know that this thing needs to stop, from a media standpoint all the way to the players?”
“It really doesn’t disturb me, but it hurts when your wife starts feeling uncomfortable about it. Even my daughter [Carrie] says, ‘Daddy, why are they talking about your age?’ She’s nine years old and she knows about it.”
“When people think your father is a liar, it makes you look bad in front of your children,” Mutombo said. “Kids don’t know when it’s a joke and when it’s not a joke. It never bothered me before, but it starts bothering me more as I’m getting questions from my wife [and] especially my daughter. She left me a voice message in the middle of a game [recently that said], ‘Daddy, they’re talking about your age on TV. That’s not funny.’ ”
“The commissioner and I are good friends,” Mutombo said. “I will find a way somehow to talk to him.
“He’s a great man. He can make it stop.”
No word on whether or not we can still make fun of his accent, cookie-monster voice, lethal elbows, finger-wave, or general on-court awkwardness. I’ll keep you posted.
(tip o’ the hat: Can’t Stop The Bleeding)