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There are two main kinds of NBA stories on With Leather: Isiah Thomas sucking, and Dikembe Mutombo being awesome. And today those two worlds have collided.
Mutombo, who announced during the preseason that his seventeenth year in the league would be his last, has kept the Rockets' frontcourt intact after Yao Ming injuries the last two seasons. Now, with the Rockets and NBA scheduled to honor his career and humanitarianism during halftime of tonight's game against the Timberwolves, Mutombo's rethinking his pledge to retire. Why? Isiah Thomas.
After one season with New York in 2003-04, Mutombo was told by then-general manager and now head coach of the Knicks Isiah Thomas that the day had come, and that blunt message has driven him for the past four years.
"It's still a wound," Mutombo said. "My wife and I still talk about it. It's still a bit sad to see the commissioner coming and all those people coming to celebrate the 17 years of my career and accomplishments and you look back and say that about (four) years ago, I had a guy tell me that I couldn't play basketball no more, to go to the beach and onto vacation. That's the same guy who's losing his job tomorrow."
Let's go to the judges on this one. Is that a burn? The results are in, and… yes: it's a burn. Even the Russian judge agrees.