Dikembe Mutombo: "For Me, Basketball is Over."

The Oregonian quotes Dikembe Mutombo: "I'm going to need surgery. For me, basketball is over. I cried so much about it when I was laying on the floor."

The Houston Chronicle's Richard Justice writes:

His 18-year NBA career ended Tuesday night with a gruesome knee injury midway through his 1,297th game. He left the floor on a stretcher after every single teammate had surrounded him on the floor.

That gesture spoke volumes about what they thought of him. He's the funniest, smartest professional athlete you will ever meet.

He has that booming raspy voice, that wide smile and that very loud laugh. ...

Mutombo should have gone out with a championship parade, hearing the cheers of thousands. He should have had the chance to tell his fans he appreciated it.

Instead, he sat in a quiet, losing locker room, announcing he'd never play again. He'll go on to the next chapter of his life.

''I need to be positive and thank God for the wonderful 18 years I had,'' he said.

One tremendous thing Mutombo has going for himself: There is a lot to his life besides basketball.