Big Weekend For The Mutombo Finger Wag

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I grew up in Atlanta during the ’90s, a time that coincided with the run of Dikembe Mutombo as an Atlanta Hawk. Mutombo never really developed a dominant offensive post game, he was terrific on defense. He got dunked on from time to time, yes, but that was because he tried to block any shot that came near the rim. And when he did get his hands on a shot attempt, Mutombo generally turned that shot around pretty quickly. And then came the crowning glory: The Finger Wag.


It was such a prevalent maneuver that my friends and I started using it in traffic to express our displeasure with other drivers. It was cheeky, but ultimately non-threatening. Also, it was awesome.

Even though Mutombo retired a few seasons ago, the finger wag remains relevant. Just yesterday, for instance we got two displays of the Mutombo finger wag. First Amar’e Stoudemire delivered one after blocking Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson


And then we saw one from the stands, as Joakim Noah‘s dad, Yannick, dropped one following a block from Joakim that caused a Miami 24-second violation…


Mutombo may be gone. The finger wag will never die.


  1. lbj says:

    Mutombo just lucky he never born at the same time with the king “LeBron” that finger wag will never exist if he played with the king era!

    • mugetsu says:

      hey young kid, if you watched nba in mid 1990s, you would know about mutombo…Lebron James is a type of player who Dikembe loves cause he is always about the rim…:)))

      if you want to learn about him, ask 1994 Seattle:)):)

  2. Raptors, Warriors, OKC. PERIOD says:

    Yes, finger wag has been around long before this article was published.
    Yes, even after Mutombo had retired, the finger wag was still displayed.
    And, yes, my raptors, warriors, and thunder will make a deep run in the playoffs. PERIOD.

  3. phil says:

    @ LBJ:

    lebron is good no question, he can play every position – okay but his chase down blocks don´t make him a top defender.
    its his part ofthe game where he is only average. he is so athletic, that he is an offensive juggernaut. that is lebron.

    Mutombo is already a legend and he left a deep footprint, especially with those things he did on and off the court. This is what lebron still has to achieve besides his 60+ games.

  4. dustydreamnz says:

    Noah’s dad looks mad, he did have the ark though.

  5. Innocent Kazembe says:

    We have to give credit where it is due Mutombo played in the era of MJ,who happens to be the greatest of all time so what and who is LBJ with no Bosh and Wade?…:) Mutombo was the man,ask Ewing,Olajuwon,Barclay,Pippen they will tell you a better story.Thanks for the article man.

    • Javier says:

      So much fail in one comment. Lebron took the cavs to the finals when their second best player was Mo Williams. Here’s an idea: watch basketball before you post.

  6. anttheeditor says:

    Why is everyone talking about LBJ and play off runs rather than Mount Mutombo? These comments possibly need a mutombo finger wag.

  7. sam says:

    I think mutombo could still do the finger even if he played with “King James” you have to remember that serge ibaka blocked the king in the 2012 NBA finals. And I think mutombo is good as serge ibaka defensively

  8. LeGAY says:

    Lebron was the lucky one not to be in mutombo and jordan’s era. If so, there wouldn’t be king james today.

  9. cp10 says:

    Finals: Pacers vs ____

  10. Kobe23 says:

    Mutumbo wag this finger even against the KING of kings Michael JORDAN, what are you saying about queen Lebron ?



  12. The glutes dominant player continues to dominate the NBA, fingerwag will stay and to understand why he is agile you have to understand how the hyperarch mechanism of the foot works in conjunction with glutes.

  13. defsta says:

    lbj….take your Lebron fanboy crap elsewhere, i doubt your even old enough to have ever seen Mutombo play

  14. Kalo Amani says:

    LeBron wouldn’t been able to do what he does today to Mutombo. MJ The greatest to have lived only dunked on Mutombo once and that was in the all-star games. Research this and you will find out. Mutombo to me was one of the best defenders/shot blocker.

  15. mutombo kills James says:

    James would of not had a chance with Mutombo…….James was not half the player as the greatest player of all time(Jordon) and Mutombo’s was pretty good with him.

  16. Jojo White says:

    Noahs dad looks like norbit haha Love the support!

    Look me up for my basketball documentaries coming in the next couple weeks