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Former Rockets center Dikembe Mutombo to undergo treatment for brain tumor

Not good news.

Utah Jazz v Houston Rockets, Game 5 Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

Former Houston Rockets center and Naismith Basketall Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumor according to a statement released by Mutombo’s family through the NBA.

Mutombo played 18 season in the NBA for the Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks and the Rockets. He was an eight-time All-Star, four time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, six times named to an NBA All-Defense Team, three times named to an All-NBA Team, a two-time rebounding champion, three-time blocks champion and is second all time in total blocks with 3,289 (almost 600 behind Hakeem Olajuwon).

Mutombo is best known to Rockets fans, however, for heading to H-town in the twilight of his career to back up Yao Ming. He played a major bench role for Rockets playoff teams in the 2000s, filling in for the numerous Yao injuries, including during Houston’s famous 22-game win streak in 2008. Mutombo was reborn in the fountain of youth, and the finger wag was in full effect, always to the crowd’s pleasure.

Mutombo is also a famous humanitarian, including starting a $29 million hospital in his hometown of Kinshasa, Congo, major work with the Special Olympics and various other ventures with his Mutombo Foundation.

Deke has a major battle ahead of him, however, with this latest news. Thankfully, a brain tumor isn’t a guaranteed death sentence with our modern medical achievements, but the 56-year-old Mutombo is asking for privacy in what sure is to be a difficult time for him and his family.

We wish you nothing but the best and complete and speedy recovery, Deke!