Hornets Sign DJ Mbenga

Published: October 13, 2010

The Hornets have agreed to terms with free agent D.J. Mbenga. The 7-0 center played in 49 games for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, averaging 2.1 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.

He will immediately try to challenge Aaron Gray for the backup center job, but Gray is simply a better player. Mbenga is decent insurance against injuries, but little else.

Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released.

As far as rebounding goes, MBenga has been statistically worse than average, grabbing a total of 13.6 rebounds last year, substantially less than the 15.4 average that centers put up.

Defensively he’s at his best, blocking at a rate twice that of the average center last season. He commits only 6.0 fouls per 40 minutes, which isn’t particularly bad for a backup center.

He’s horribly inefficient on offense, recording an efficiency rating of only 3.1, compared to 10.5 of the average center. There isn’t a shot you want him taking particularly, aside from the open dunk.

His free throw shooting is absolutely atrocious. Let’s just say he’s probably worse than Emeka, who has made a real effort to improve his free throw shooting recently.

He’s not a good passer, converting only 5% of his possessions into assists, about half of league average for centers. On the bright side, he turns it over slightly less than average. Yay!

For some reason people seem excited about this, but looking at his numbers there isn’t much to get excited about. Expect nothing and be satisfied if he gives more than that.


  1. Michael McNamara

    October 13, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    A 7 foot version of Pops IMO. As of today we have 3 options for our 6th big and between DJ, Alexander, and Pops- I will take DJ but I am by no means excited by it and I don’t want him to ever see the court unless it is a situation where we are doing Hack-A-Dwight or something like that

  2. TopherPrice

    October 13, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Come on guys!?! The man has posted a single Double Double in his what 5+ years in the league. He is money! Monopoly Money, but money non-the-less.

    • StefanC

      October 13, 2010 at 6:35 pm

      Can’t say I agree. I get excited over monopoly money! Mbenga… not so much.

  3. MaxALM

    October 13, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    I can’t wait to sign another another end-of-the-bench big guy. Is Melvin Ely still alive?

    • JCS

      October 13, 2010 at 10:04 pm

      LMFAO! Eeelyyysss cominnng!!!

  4. rew

    October 13, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    You’re analyzing his stats like he was actually a backup center. He was the third string center for the Lakers as it was Bynum, Gasol(whenever Bynum didn’t play or was on the bench for a spell) then Mbenga.
    I wouldn’t read to much into the stats he got in the 6+ minutes per game he’s played in so far. I think you’re reading too much into the numbers. Watch the guy play and you’ll see as a defensive option he is not a bad player to have on the bench. Offensively, meh!

  5. JCS

    October 13, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    “He will immediately try to challenge Aaron Gray for the backup center job, but Gray is simply a better player.”


    At what? Hungry Hippo?? Get real, Joe. Gray is the biggest man on the court yet he bricked two wide open lay-ups in the last game, as he was directly underneath the basket. How does a 7 footer brick two wide open lay-ups? I don’t get it!

    Anyway, both Gray and Mbenga are a bunch of stiffs. We should have brought up Sonderleiter from the D-League IMO.

  6. 42

    October 13, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I got an email to Gerry V tonight at the game. I asked him to assess Gray. He said he’s improved but wants him to `bang’ more. I agree. I had a little more energy and didn’t fade like when there was so much more of him to love/hate.

    He hustled more than I’ve seen ever, which means he hustled a little.

    We’re stuck with him for 2 years, or we/he has to convince someone else to put up with him for 2 years. We might as well figure out how to use him or move him.

    Smith looked alot better at the 4 than coming in for Okafor, who also had a good game as well.

    The team felt different tonight. Forget what excuses can be made for West and those two other guys not playing: The team really seemed to focus on defense and we got to the damned line. We also aren’t living and dying by the 3. It’s fun to see the changes.

  7. urgmasdaughter

    October 14, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Two things ANYONE should know about DJ Mbenga first…TACOS!!!:

    Second Kobe called him Sloth:

    …that is all

  8. berlin-hornets

    October 14, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Another great video about Mbenga:

    Love Kobes comment at the end: “Congo Cash”

    And Trevor is in there too.

  9. JCS

    October 14, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    When we canned Bowser I thought silly season was over, but apparently it’s not. For some odd reason Dell thought it was a good idea to sign these YouTube caricatures that no one respects on the court.

    If for whatever reason Monty can’t turn their game around, then I’d like to go on record as saying I’d like tryout Kerem Gönlüm from Turkey, Joaquim Gomes from Angola, or Sean Sonderleiter from the D-League. Either one of these guys could be a solid back-up, and that’s exactly what we need for successful playoff run.

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