Originally written on NBA 24/7 365  |  Last updated 11/20/14

As much as we’ll always love the NBA for the high level of basketball that is played in it, there are some characters whose personalities are so grand that they endear themselves to us in ways that transcend the enjoyment we experience in watching them partake in the sport.  Without them, unfortunately, the league will never be quite the same.  One such character is Dikembe Mutombo, who you simply can’t help but love for his great enthusiasm, laudable philanthropic efforts, and cookie monster voice.  One of the saddest moments I’ve ever witnessed on a basketball court occurred in April of 2009, when Mutombo’s 18-year career was ended by an injury to his left knee.  That was the only time I’ve ever watched an athlete fall to the floor and known immediately that he’d never play again. Though this was in fact the case, Dikembe hasn’t disappeared completely.  In the NBA, his presence lives on in his signature finger wag gesture, which is performed quite frequently by those who block shots with the same emphasis that he did.  In popular culture, Mutombo has popped up in advertising campaigns for products such as Old Spice, and now GEICO.  Behold, by far the funniest thing you might see during the next break in your television program: Well, that’s certainly a welcomed break from “gameday bucket go boom,” and “six callers ahead of us Jimmy!” Especially the part where he swats the kid’s cereal box.  I nearly hyperventilated after it exploded in midair.  Keep up the good work, GEICO.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Bears could have interest in Jim Harbaugh

Report: Shanahan interested in coaching next season

Report: Michigan has its eye on several NFL coaches

Report: Titans, Jay Cutler have mutual interest in trade

Phillies GM told Ryan Howard team is better off without him

Report: Browns interested in drafting Marcus Mariota

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Chargers keep playoff hopes alive with comeback win

Robin Lopez responds to Khloe Kardashian dating rumors

Report: Jermaine O'Neal 'intrigued' about joining Mavs

Report: Robert Griffin III likely to return to Redskins

Izzo criticizes coaches, players after embarrassing loss

Report: Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: Dominic Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

WATCH: Arian Foster throws TD pass, drops scoreboard taunt

WATCH: Johnny Manziel leaves with injury after taking big hit

NHL has warned 22 players about diving

Nick Mangold wears NYDP hat to honor fallen officers

Five things we learned from the first day of bowl games

WATCH: South Alabama coach bloodied after kick to the face

Dan Mullen wears funny 'Christmas Vacation' sweater

WATCH: Redskins FB gets in Eagles fan's face after TD

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurysm

Steve Alford: Kentucky is best team I've coached against

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.