Tuesday, August 15th, 2006 at 8:58 am  |  12 responses

Dikembe is a better person than YOU

These days, every professional athlete is grossly overpaid for playing a game. But when one of them digs this deep into his wallet, it’s hard to not be impressed.

By Sam Rubenstein

mutombo kofiThis has been a long-time coming, and was even mentioned in TIME magazine back in 2003. Dikembe Mutombo has donated FIFTEEN MILLION DOLLARS of his own money to build a hospital in Kinshasa, Congo, which finally opens on September 2nd. Now, when a person goes out of their way to do something as great and charitable as this, it’s tacky for them to draw attention to themselves and explain just how much they gave. So I’ll do it for him. According to basketball reference’s semi-accurate career earnings numbers, Dikembe has pulled in $110.7 million in NBA salary alone. Who knows what his portfolio looks like after endorsements, investments, interest, and other finances, but the fact remains that the man is putting A LOT of money in the right place. $15 million was what he made per year at the height of his earning potential. To scale that down to human sized revenue, the average American househould makes about $45K. This would be like working 10 years or so to build up savings of $500,000 – and that’s assuming you can save money like me – and then giving $40K in one pop. I don’t know about you, but to me that’s kind of a big deal. On top of all that, Dikembe has constantly been fundraising to get more money for the hospital, which is still $7 million short and has operating costs of over $2 million per year. So he’s not just saying “Look here’s my money, aren’t I the humanitarian of the century.”
Charles, you were saying something about helping poor people?

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  • Matthew

    Nice piece Sam. Deke is one of the better guys in the league, even with his finger wave and pointy elbows. Anyway, i’m glad i’m not the only one up early doin work. I got to work at 7. Slamonline helps me get through the 10 hr. days i put in while i’m workin for my dad’s company so just wanted to say you guys are doin a helluva job on the new site and keep up the good work.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Marcel Mutoni

    yep, Deke is the man.

  • Ananth Pandian

    Yeah Mt. Mutombo is the man…perhaps one of the most charitable people in the L…i found a way to donate to his foundation with out actually giving away my own money…
    go to http://www.goodsearch.com and use it as a search engine..for the charity put in Dikembe Mutombo foundation inc…
    everytime you search the search engine donates a cent to the charity…if you do a lot of searches it adds up…the search uses yahoo which isnt as good as google but at least its for a good cause

  • Pablo Favarel (Argentina)

    If every person who makes such amount of cash´d behave like Deke, then this planet would definetly be a good place to be in. And don´t forget about my main man “The Admiral”, David Robinson, who I guess donated $10.000.000 of his own money for the Carver Academy in San Antono.

  • Drew

    I’ve always enjoyed watching mutumbo play and I like the finger wayving thing. (nothing wrong with a LITTLE trash talk, acting)

    this makes me respect the person as well as the player.

    The Admiral is another great example of a great person and player.

  • Downton

    Can’t say anything bad about Mutombo, always great to see one of the “good guys” actually do some community work, outside of the whole “NBA Cares” reading to children at hospitals stuff. I’m not bashing the NBA Cares stuff by any means, but when you have a player like Deke who donates around 10% of his life savings/earnings to build one single hospital and is as involved with the project as he is, reading “The Little Engine That Could” to a sick child just pales in comparison.

    I just wish more pro-athletes would take up these causes with as much passion, effort and generosity as guys like Mutombo, Robinson, and Bol, just to name a few off the top of my head.

  • Ananth Pandian

    Unfort about Manute is last i heard he hardly has any money

    DROB runs that school as far as i know…he started it with his own money
    true more athletes should do things

    i know a lot do stuff on the low
    like Sir Charles

  • Mighty

    just adding Ray Allen to the list. he’s won charity awards since bucks days

  • johhnyblaze

    in the nba, i think mutombo is one of the genuinley nice players who doesnt do charities for publicity. what he does is a thousand times better than reading to kids. i really wish other players would help mutombo in his quest for something that is rally worth it.and i wish he wins at least one nba ring before he retires.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/haveanother23 Ron Olesiak ( referee )

    You got it all wrong my man: “If every person who makes such amount of cash´d behave like Deke, then this planet would definetly be a good place to be in.”
    Everyone can make a difference and it doesn’t matter what you income level you are at. I do believe that if everybody tried to help the world would be a better place. Its not even about money if you don’t have it donate your time that in some cases is more effective than any check in the mail…

  • LordGefroh

    a lot of old sports fans and writers (i’m looking at you, jay mariotti) talk too much shit about pro athletes being selfish, when in fact many give away a lot of time and money to charities and it goes under the radar. good to see dikembe defying the stereotype and helping people that really need it.

    on a completely unrelated note, “WHO WANTS TO SEX MUTOMBO!?”

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