Dikembe Mutombo
AP Photo

New York Knicks rookie Mitchell Robinson has caught the attention of Hall of Fame shot blocker, Dikembe Mutombo.

Amidst a rough 2018-19 season, Mitchell Robinson offered New York Knicks fans a glimmer of hope for the future. The long-limbed center averaged 2.4 blocks per game and caught the attention of one Hall of Fame big man—Dikembe Mutombo.

“Blocking shots is a gift, it comes to those people who study the game. And I think Mitchell, he has that gift,” Dikembe Mutombo told Ian Begley of SNY at a fundraising event on Thursday. “He’s going to be good.”

“I’m plenty impressed with him. He’s very gifted, he can jump out of the building,” said Mutombo. “…. Hopefully he will block more shots than I did.”

Mutombo, a former Knick, knows a thing or two about blocking shots. He’s currently second all-time in NBA history in blocks, trailing only Hakeem Olajuwon. It’s obviously a good sign to hear Mutombo speak so highly of Robinson.

Robinson is the perfect type of big man for a league that is increasingly reliant on the pick-and-roll. He’s a dominant rim-protector on defense and a dangerous lob threat on offense. Furthermore, he’s athletic enough to handle switches onto smaller guards. He still has a long way to go as a defender, but he has sky-high potential.

Begley also asked Mutombo about Robinson’s ability to block three-pointers, a valuable skill in today’s NBA. Robinson led the league in three-pointers blocked with 24 during the 2018-19 season.

“It’s a different game,” Mutombo said in reference to that stat. “He’s very talented. But there’s nobody who can block a shot like Mr. Mutombo.”

Maybe not, but Robinson looks like he’ll carve out his own niche as a dominant force on the defensive end.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.