Miami has been a favorite team in the past decade, but farther back in the day, the whole city had much to celebrate in the person of long-time Heat center Alonzo Mourning. Here are some facts about him.
1. Known as a critical defensive player, who typically defended against taller centers, his toughness twice earned him NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. For the same reason, he was always a mainstay on the NBA All-Defensive Team.
2. Potential was seen in him very early in his lifetime. As a high school player, he averaged 12 blocks for his school, which was the highest in the country at the time.
3. He was selected as the second overall pick in his draft class, behind another promising rookie named Shaquille O’Neal.
4. He played in a controversial game in 1997, in a playoff match between the Knicks and the Heat. He had a tussle with Knicks forward Charles Oakley, which precipitated a brawl involving other players a few moments later, a game which saw bodies flying out of bounds.
5. He left the Heat and signed with the New Jersey Nets at one point, but he left the NBA altogether due to kidney problems that he had, which was the lowest moment in his career. He underwent a kidney transplant, which was a success.
6. After a few other complications that left him traded to the Toronto Raptors, he eventually rejoined the Heat for a veteran’s minimum salary, which saw him play alongside Shaquille O’Neal. This team-up gave him his lone championship.
7. In 2009, Miami made its first ever jersey retirement when they gave a most touching send-off to Alonzo Mourning.
Hello, Michael T. Eckhardt here. I live in Miami and nothing makes me happier than when the Heat, Marlins, and Dolphins win games. I am also a sports writer. For more sports news, please read this blog.