Mbenga brings energy and has a lot of fun on the court. But he came from a dark and saddened past to get to where he is today. Take a read.

O.C. Register: Kobe Bryant just calls him “Congo.” Pau Gasol thinks he’s funny but isn’t sure what else to think of him. Josh Powell, who has been teammates with him here and in Dallas, is asked if he knows — really knows — DJ Mbenga.

“I would say,” Powell answers, “somewhat.”

Poised mostly in silence, near the end of the Lakers’ bench, sits what could be the Lakers’ loudest story. Yet, Mbenga, a member of one of the most microscopically analyzed teams in the NBA, one of the most blogged about groups in all of sports, remains largely unknown.

Even his name is a bit of a mystery, Didier Ilunga-Mbenga referred to as DJ in some places and D.J. — with periods — in others.

You could start his story at Day One, Mbenga born in Zaire into a family with money and clout. “That movie ‘Coming to America,’ it was like that,” he says. “I was living like that.”

Continue reading ‘A scarred history paves Mbenga’s journey to NBA’

  • gugy

    DJ seems to be a nice guy.
    Good luck to him and hopefully he will improve as a laker.

  • xtro

    mbenga will help us the nba finals by blocking shots of the opposing team much like what alonzo did against the mavs. he will be the unsung hero. god bless him.

  • TACH

    Posted this on YouTube back in May of last year… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaKkqGjepog

  • dub824

    he owned rudy gay last night.. twice

  • Lakers 24 7

    I think he should get more playing time. Sure, he picks up 4 fouls in a 3 minute span lol, but he’s the only dude that actually contests shots and hustles. F8ck Joe Smith and Gooden, Mbenga is the dude we need in the paint. The guys a black belt, you know he ain’t afraid of contact.

  • Lker Roger

    the dude is a stiff. he should be working at the car wash or bouncer at a strip club. So hes a black belt
    does that make him a player in the nba .
    they say Luke has a great basketball IQ is that because he white,the guy throws thw ball out of bounds cant jump but his dad played so hes qualified. F that get real players.
    luke sucks dj farmar sasha all suck. utah goldenstate
    nuggets are better right now than the lakers 3 bums