Thursday, October 4, 2007

好野... Mt Mutombo 又打多年..

Notes: Mutombo re-signs with Rockets
Rockets center plans to play one more season, Landry signs with Rockets

HOUSTON -- Dikembe Mutombo plans on wagging his index finger at rejected dunkers for one more season.

The NBA's second all-time leading shot blocker re-signed with the Rockets Monday for what he expects to be his final season.

"I'm going to enjoy every second and every minute of my last year in the NBA," Mutombo said. "I hope that my farewell tour will be a nice and memorable one."

Mutombo, the league's oldest player at 41, considered retirement after the Rockets' first-round playoff setback to the Utah Jazz. He was disappointed with his reduced role in the postseason as well as the team's earlier-than-expected exit.

But after having dinnner with former Rockets star Hakeem Olajuwon, Mutombo decided he didn't want to leave the game on a bitter note.

"I think I was more hurt than anybody on the team," Mutombo said. "As I was getting ready to go home for the summer, I was approached by Hakeem Olajuwon. I talked to him over dinner for almost three hours. He just lifted me up and told me, 'Don't walk away from the game because you got hurt from the loss. You can stay around, even play one more year. Finish up and be happy. Maybe next year can be a better one.' I felt like something very positive came from him."

Mutombo is widely considered one of the greatest defensive players in NBA history. The eight-time All-Star passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for second on the all-time blocked shots list last season and has been the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year four times.

Since joining the Rockets in 2004, he has served as Yao Ming's backup. He provided the team with a major lift last season when Yao was injured, averaging 5.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in 33 starts.

However, Mutombo is hopeful that he won't have to fill in for Yao again this season.

"I'm too old to be going out there and playing 37 minutes again," Mutombo joked.

Damien Pierce Staff Writer

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