Texas center Mo Bamba was one of the most intriguing prospects in last night’s NBA Draft, given his record wingspan and potentially growing offensive arsenal. The Orlando Magic were enamored enough to take him with the No. 6 pick.
Bamba had been mocked right around that range. Many thought the Dallas Mavericks would be the team to take the local prospect a pick earlier.
Of course, the Mavericks wound up making one of the biggest splashes of draft night. The team swapped picks with the No. 3 Atlanta Hawks to select European star guard Luka Doncic, seen by many as the best player in the draft. Atlanta reportedly coveted Oklahoma guard Trae Young, and took him at No. 5.
It looked like the chance to make a very specific, very 1999 joke had passed. And then, Mo Bamba made the best possible choice of jersey number.
Mo Bamba will wear No. 5 for the Orlando Magic.
And we got Mo Bamba No. 5 ? pic.twitter.com/Y4fjMuom0X
— Despina (@DespinaBarton) June 22, 2018
Mo Bamba, No. 5.
Mambo No. 5.
You get it. Hit the music.
Yes, that is so, SO much better than the eventual anecdote of which pick he was selected with. Naturally, the internet is having a lot of fun with it.
if you think any time mo bamba does something remotely well on the basketball court i'm not screaming "MAMBO NO 5" at the top of my lungs you're wrong pic.twitter.com/z3KSvKJNMJ
— Whitney Medworth (@its_whitney) June 22, 2018
Today we found out what number Mo Bamba will wear for the Orlando Magic.
— The Ringer (@ringer) June 22, 2018
A little bit of Nikola at the five
A little bit of Mario on the side
A little bit of Aaron on the team
A little bit of DJ Augustin
A little bit of Elfrid (now a Sun)
A little bit of Isaac, number one
A little bit of Simmons, Jonathan
A little Iwundu makes me a fan https://t.co/fs0mSH4kuN
— Tucker (@twarner50) June 22, 2018
We had this saved for the draft but he went to Orlando at #6 but now he’s wearing the #5.
Close Enough. pic.twitter.com/jfyTbk9OQo
— SB Nation (@SBNation) June 22, 2018
Lou Bega has to preform at halftime opening night. https://t.co/ytMHEohIk5
— Danny Cunningham (@RealDCunningham) June 22, 2018
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) June 22, 2018
Bamba might have a sense of humor. Or maybe he just wanted a low jersey number. He wore No. 4 at Texas, which veteran Aaron Afflalo currently has.
However, there is a very real chance he is only vaguely aware of the song. The famous Lou Bega version came out in 1999. Bamba was born less than a year earlier, in 1998.
Either way, it opens up a lot of jokes, and hopefully some fun arena antics in Orlando. And for that, we should all be thankful.