Mbenga in the NBA
The 7′ 220 pound year-old Mbenga is a native of Congo who signed with the Mavericks as a rookie in 2004, appearing in 79 games over three seasons in Dallas. During his stint with the team, the 27 year-old Mbenga totaled 106 points, 75 rebounds and 35 blocked shots in 374 minutes.
During his rookie year of 2004-05, he averaged an impressive 4.10 blocks per 48 minutes played while improving to 5.00 blocks per 48 minutes in 2005-06. However, his development was put on hold after he was limited to just 21 games the following season after missing the first 16 games of the year with a left foot tendon strain and suffering a torn right ACL 2/7/07 vs. Memphis.
After recovering from the injury, Mbenga signed with the Warriors on November 17 after he was put on waivers by the Mavericks on October 30. In his brief 16 games with Golden State prior to his release on January 6, Mbenga averaged 1.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.63 blocked shots in 8.1 minutes.
• Goes by “D.J.” as his first name when pronunced (“Didier”) sounds similar to those initials and the “M” is silent in his last name
• A black belt in judo
• Speaks five languages: two dialects from the Congo, French, Portuguese and limited English