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Former NBA Commissioner David Stern Once Asked Dikembe Mutombo To Stop His Iconic Finger Wagging Celebration And Drew A Hilarious Response From Him: “David, I Can’t. It’s Just Coming Naturally.”

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern Once Asked Dikembe Mutombo To Stop His Iconic Finger Wagging Celebration And Drew A Hilarious Response From Him: “David, I Can’t. It’s Just Coming Naturally.”

Over the years, fans have seen a lot of amazing players showcase their talent in the NBA. Obviously, some players are remembered more by fans due to various reasons. It could be that their ability to play basketball was just so great or the fact that they gave birth to an iconic celebration.

NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo is someone who falls in both categories. During his playing days, Mutombo was known for his amazing defensive prowess. So much so that Mutombo won the Defensive Player of the Year award four times in his career, which is tied for the most times with Ben Wallace.

Anyway, speaking of Mutombo's iconic celebration, almost every time the 7'2" center blocked a player, he used to do his finger wagging celebration. While the celebration was more than enough to get the crowd excited, Mutombo was handed out technical fouls for it several times.

Mutombo shared the story of former NBA commissioner David Stern who once requested him to stop doing this celebration. But the NBA Hall of Famer had an epic reply to it.

Via BroBible:

“Back then, I didn’t really care how much money they were fining me. I know it was $5,000 for every technical foul. For a few years, I let the NBA give me a technical foul, but my technical fouls weren’t, like, me going after the referee or cursing. I was just having fun.

I remember Uncle David [Stern], our late commissioner, used to call me all the time and say, ‘Deke! What’s going on? Can you stop? Can you stop?’ and I said, ‘David, I can’t. It’s just coming naturally.’

It got to the point where there were so many coaches complaining, and he told me, ‘You know what? You can just do it. We’re not going to fine you anymore. Just make sure you look at the fans when you’re doing it.’ It took the NBA like 15 years before they changed their mind about it.”

As Mutombo mentioned in the interview, the NBA thought he was directing his celebrations toward the players and coaches. But in reality, that was never his intention.

After a lot of fines, and we mean a lot of fines, Mutombo was instructed to direct his signature celebration toward the crowd to avoid any confusion. Since that decision, Mutombo was never fined for doing his finger wagging celebration.