Typically we frown on game-ified advertising like this initiative from Old Spice but if this is the only way we get to hear from Dikembe Mutombo in 2012 then it’s worth it. The ageless defensive force from somewhere in Central Africa was last seen in the NBA playoffs in 2009 cracking his knee as a member of the Houston Rockets in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers. He must have been in his 50s by then. The point is, Mutombo is featured in a new web game where he holds off the end of the world for a little while as you suddenly get the feeling to buy, use and dispose of a certain deodorant product.
I’m not going to play the web game. I just don’t do things like that without being threatened. But I did and will continue to enjoy the Mutombo voiceover describing the whole thing. His gravely tones and rare accent make him both tough to understand and a surprisingly prolific pitchman. I love a good paradox. Imagine him talking trash to you on the court. You’d probably have to ask him to repeat himself a thousand times before deciding to be upset or offended. And by then you’d have thought of a snappy retort. This is probably why his signature finger wave after blocking the crap out of some high-flyer’s dunk was so perfect. Anyway, I miss Dikembe Mutombo in the NBA for all kinds of reasons and it’s good to know video games (even one like this) can be a pathway to relevance for everybody including 7-2, former NBA players who’ve done more to help their countries than any starting lineup of any current NBA team.