March 6, 2009
A lackluster 20-point blowout of the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Staples Center turned into a spectacle that will be remembered for decades, maybe even centuries. Chants of M-V-P rang down from the Staples Center rafters as the 7-foot monster from the Congo stepped to the free throw line. Did he make all of them? I don’t know, probably not. He made one at least. Does it matter? Not at all. This was the night that D.J. Mbenga took over the NBA.
On this tremendous night, Mbenga put on a display that basketball historians could only describe as Chamberlain-esque. What was his stat line? I don’t know…it’s on the video I think, but let’s just call it 67 points, 37 rebounds, 15 assists, and 74 blocked shots in 10 minutes of play. Kobe Bryant has won zero NBA championships without Shaq…or D.J. Mbenga. That is a fact. Besides this game and winning two NBA championships with the Lakers, here’s what Mbenga has done in his NBA career.
D.J. Mbenga once told Sasha Vujacic to STFU:
D.J. Mbenga once had to be restrained from murdering Chris Mihm at practice:
But most importantly, D.J. Mbenga once said “tacos:”
In all seriousness, D.J. Mbenga has one of the most interesting backstories in the history of the NBA. As a youngster in the Congo, D.J. and his family were imprisoned when a new regime took control of the country. D.J.’s father was unable to save himself, but he was able to negotiate to have D.J. and his mother released and the two of them escaped to Belgium. It was in Belgium that D.J.’s basketball abilities were first discovered. He eventually made his way over to the NBA in 2002 and the rest is history.
As strange and random as this may sound, this blog likely wouldn’t even exist in the manner that it does today if not for D.J. Mbenga. My fascination with everything D.J. Mbenga came shortly after witnessing this spectacle on March 6, 2009. It was what led to the foundation of the MBA, the Mbenga Basketball Association. If you are thinking to yourself, “MBA? Mbenga Basketball Association? Why have I never heard of this?” Well, that’s because the D.J. Mbenga All-Stars eliminated competition in such a gruesome fashion that network television would not allow it to be aired.
You are probably hoping for an extraordinary story behind the formation of the D.J. Mbenga All-Stars. Unfortunately, it was just a team that I created on NBA 2K and the MBA included only one other team, the Mark Madsen Dancers. One of my friends, who no doubt does not want to be identified due to the embarrassment and shame that comes with being the owner of the Washigton Generals-esque Madsen Dancers and being friends with a guy who creates a fictional basketball league, had his share of struggles in defeating the Mbenga All-Stars. Let’s just say that it never happened. Ever.
But being the most dominant team in professional basketball history…that’s not important. The line-up, now that’s important. Point guard Kevin Ollie, shooting guard Larry Hughes, small forward Tim Thomas, power forward Mbenga, Sixth Man of the Year 90’s West Detlef Schrempf, and finally at center…Create-a-Divac.
That’s right, boys and girls. My anguish that the GOAT and my chosen alias, Vlade Divac, was not included on the 90’s West team like Detlef Schrempf led to the creation of Create-a-Divac. The key cog on the most dominant team in professional basketball history, Create-a-Divac was an exact replica of what should have been 90’s West Vlade Divac. And I swear…I did not make him a 99 overall. I made him like an 80 overall, but he was anything but an 80 overall.
His stat line at the end of games would just read N/A because there aren’t computers advanced enough to calculate the astronomical numbers that Create-a-Divac unleashed on the Dancers. The obsession with Mbenga eventually transferred into even more of an obsession with Divac which years later led to the creation of my very first blog, Leaveit2divac.com.
Now, I write to you here from the Schmozone and couldn’t be any prouder. The Schmo and I have big plans on changing the way the blog game is played this year and we’re excited to bring it to you. Our ultimate goal is to appeal to the weird and funny sports fan in you and bring you back wanting more of what you didn’t even know you cared about.
You would be hard-pressed to find anybody out there who got started in a weirder fashion than the Divac that types before you…and I owe it all to D.J. Mbenga.
Thank you, D.J.
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