By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced its 2015 inductees on Monday. Headlining the list is NBA great and former Sixers center, Dikembe Mutombo.
Mutombo played 18 seasons in the NBA for six different franchises. Mutombo was an eight-time NBA All-Star and was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year four times (1995, 1997, 1998, 2001).
He defensive prowess made him infamous for his finger wag that he employed generously after rejecting an opponent’s shot. Mutombo led the NBA in total blocks each season from 1994 to 1998.
One of the league’s most intimidating big men of all time starred at Georgetown before being selected with the 4th overall pick in the 1991 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets. Mutombo was named to the All-Rookie team in 1992 and was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 2001.
Mutombo came to the Sixers in the middle of the 2000-2001 season in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks. The Sixers acquired his defensive strengths in an effort to prepare themselves for an eventual NBA Finals match up with Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal.
While Mutombo’s acquisition did not lead to a title, he did round out a Sixers lineup that went on to become the Eastern Conference Champions and who handed the Lakers their only loss during the 2001 Playoffs.
Joining Mutombo in the 2015 class are NBA referee Dick Bavetta, Kentucky coach John Calipari, NBA player Spencer Haywood, NBA player JoJo White, WNBA player Lisa Leslie and the five directly elected members who were elected by committees and announced in February.
The induction ceremony will take place September 11, 2015 in Springfield, Massachusetts.