J.J. Watt’s finger-wagging ‘brings so much joy’ to Dikembe Mutombo’s heart


Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt is the NFL’s best defensive player, maybe even the best player in all of football.

Endearingly, he celebrates like Dikembe Mutombo, the former Nugget/Hawk/76er/Net/Knick/Rocket known for his defense.

Watt wags his finger when he stuffs a run, blocks a field goal or bats down a pass at the line, something he’s done at a historic rate. Sunday, he had a chance to meet the original finger-wagger.

Mutombo, via Tania Ganguli of ESPN:

I was just telling him that he’s just a copycat and I’m the original,” Mutombo said on the sideline before the game. “… I cannot pass all of my recipe to him. I want him to pay some royalty for using my finger wag.”

So was it a business meeting?

“No, we have not discussed price yet,” Mutombo said. “But we need to sit down and talk about it.”

“To know that the legacy is still going on, I think it brings so much joy to my heart,” Mutombo said. “… He’s having fun out here defensively. He’s letting the world know, ‘Listen, I’m here to play football, I’m happy, I’m doing what Mutombo used to do.’ That’s what life is about.”

Mutombo averaged an amazing 4.5 blocks per game in 1995-96. Nobody has averaged four blocks per game since.

If nobody in the NBA can uphold his legacy, I’m glad at someone – even a football player – can.