Patrick Mutombo – The Journey of an Artist On and Off the Court

Patrick Mutombo – The Journey of an Artist On and Off the Court


Coaching I always say gives you a
platform to really impact lives. The interaction that we have with these
young men just such a good opportunity to make a difference in
somebody’s life and I personally feel like I have a
responsibility to utilize whatever I’m given to serve our players young and old
that’s probably the part that that is dearest to my heart My name is Patrick Mutombo I’m an
Assistant Coach with the Toronto Raptors. I was born in Africa, spent part of my life
there. Lived there for 13 years then moved to Europe and Belgium when I moved to
the U.S. from Belgium I was 19 very stubborn skinny thought I could play but I
really couldn’t. Didn’t play for two years, was extremely hard but in picking
up the team I was so proud, I said I’m not going home. I have to make this
work and I’ve experienced some success the next year and won Player of the Year,
All-American, and all that stuff, Division II. As far as I can remember I’ve always liked
art. I remember when I was young in Africa I used to go to somebody’s house
and just watch them paint because I remember the smell of oil and I fell in
love with the smell, the smell of just oil paint.
Fast forward I’m playing in Greece and I’m totally miserable one day I’m
walking back home from practice, I’m so angry I’m not driving and I’m walking back
home and I stumbled into this art gallery and I became friends with the
owner so we develop the relationship and I asked him if he could help me you know
I had this desire to paint I’m not quite sure how to how to do it so I go
home after practice, eat, start painting at about 10 o’clock at night paint all
night. I would finish around five o’clock in the morning sleep for about three hours,
eat breakfast, go to my first practice, come back take my paintings go
show it to him he would critique it, I’ll come home, take a nap, eat
somewhere in there, go to practice come back and repeat. The way basketball works in my mind you
visualize it, think about it any GM, Head Coach they all have a vision of what
they want their team to look like. A coach has a vision for what he wants his
team to play like you know an artist it all starts with the vision I had in my head.
I know what I want the painting to look like. Oh I have an idea
but then the process now I’m jumping back to coaching is you gotta go through
your process General Managers got to recruit the players, got to get people that
fit the culture as a coach all right so I have these players these ingredients, what style of play do I want to implement or I have a style
play do these players fit my style of play. Same thing with painting. Okay
now I want to create this yeah what am I gonna, do I want texture, no texture, do
I want the big canvas or small canvas, do I want to do it on wood or do I want to
sculpt it? The same thing, so you go through the process and even the
frustrations are the same because sometimes you have an idea to start and
then by the time you’re done it looks nothing like what you initially had in
your head but it’s still beautiful. But same thing with
a coach where he thought his team was gonna look like this
but in the end it’s something totally different but yet equally beautiful. I have three kids, three boys, twin boys and
a four-year-old. Her name is Magali. Magali Mutombo y’all man she’s my rock Seriously she’s my rock I am
very fortunate because man we’ve gone through a lot of adversity I am going to share this because this may
encourage somebody out there we lost three kids back to back to back the last
one my daughter was born and lived for four days and I saw her pass before my
eyes it was a miscarriage 23 weeks and we stuck together and she fought she never
quit. And she allowed me to go to work for our
family she said I got your back, go do what you need to do. Once our children came we love them so much and we still do
and she still allows me to go and do what I need to go do for our family she
makes sure that our children are raised the right way because I’m raising man
and when I need to minister to some of our players and have him over they come
and she’s there she’s a sister to some of them and we commune together we break
bread together and that makes me a better coach and that makes me a better
leader she’s my rock Magali she’s my rock. When Coach Carl hired me during our interview he said Patrick when it’s all said and done you’re not gonna remember
the wins and losses you are going to remember the relationships and the
moments that you build with all these people you’re gonna be working
with. So then every other coach I’ve worked with I’ve always deposited
something that stayed with me be it a Brian Shaw, Melvin Hunt
who was the interim coach there but also coached Dwayne Casey and now Nick nurse
all these people have really at some point have given me something they
have carried with me. I think we all want to grow we all want to advance but I
have to remind myself that you have to be excellent where you are it’s only
human nature I think I’m a very ambitious person I think that’s why I
kind of get obsessed with goals and projects but just reminding myself that
I need to be the best assistant that I can be first and everything will take care of
itself.

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