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Dikembe Mutombo is commonly referred to as one of the greatest shot blockers and defensive players of all time, winning the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award four times.

Selected fourth overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 1991 NBA Draft, Mutombo’s impact was immediate. As a rookie, he was selected for the All-Star team and averaged 16.6 points, 12.3 rebounds, and nearly three blocks per game.


In Mutombo’s third season, Denver pulled off a major playoff upset by stunning the top-seeded Seattle SuperSonics in the first round, becoming the first eighth seed to win an NBA playoff series. Mutombo’s defensive presence was the key to the upset victory; his total of 31 blocks remains a record for a five-game series. The following season, he received the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.

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