Mutombo gives finger wag blessing to Indiana’s Lilly King
At the 2016 Olympics, Indiana’s Lilly King started an international swimming rivalry with the wag of her finger – a move made famous in sports by a basketball legend.
That legend, Dikembe Mutombo, weighed in on the finger wags of King and fellow U.S. gold medal swimmer, Michael Phelps on Friday. The NBA Hall of Famer gave his blessing.
“Copying my move, it really doesn’t bother me,” Mutombo told USA Today. “As long as they recognize who they got it from.”
King, a 19-year-old who will be a sophomore with the Hoosiers in the fall, won two gold medals in Rio. She beat Russia’s Yulia Efimova in the 100m breaststroke. Efimova was the one who King wagged her finger at after the Russian held up her index finger to call herself No. 1 after winning her semifinal heat.
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King also won a gold in the 4x100m medley relay. Phelps, meanwhile, did what Phelps normally does and took home another six Olympic medals, five of which were gold.
So as long as the athletes using Mutombo’s finger wag are winning, he doesn’t mind.
“I care more about who’s the best, who’s the best in the game, who’s the best in the competition,” Mutombo added. “… 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.”