Dikembe Mutombo’s signature finger wag has experienced a resurgence amongst American swimmers at this year’s Summer Olympic Games in Rio. Fortunately, they appear to have the blessing of the four-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Mutombo came out on Friday and said that he’s cool with Michael Phelps, who waved his finger at South African rival Chad le Clos after beating him in the 200m butterfly, and Lilly King, who shook hers in disapproval at Russian counterpart Yulia Efimova, using his patented move.
“Copying my move, it really doesn’t bother me,” Mutombo said, per Nina Mandell of For The Win. “As long as they recognize who they got it from.
“I care more about who’s the best, who’s the best in the game, who’s the best in the competition,” Mutombo continued. “… I did it because I believed I was the best in the game. Nobody else could block a shot better than me, no one could dunk on me.”
The eight-time All-Star was significantly less understanding when former Raptors big man Bismack Biyombo tried busting out the move on the basketball court last postseason. But with Phelps and King winning a combined eight medals (seven of them gold) this summer, Mutombo probably figures they’ve earned the right to a wag or two.