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Smallthoughts: Old School Tuseday …Alonzo Mourning

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Mourning was selected second overall in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, behind Shaquille O’Neal. Mourning was named to the league’s all-rookie team in 1993 after averaging 21.0 pts, 10.3 rebounds, and 3.47 blocks. He finished second to Shaquille O’Neal in rookie of the year voting. He posted the highest scoring average of any rookie in Hornets history.The greatest moment of Mourning’s rookie season came on May 5, 1993 in Game 4 of a first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics. His 20-footer at the buzzer gave the Hornets a 104–103 victory in the game and a three-games-to-one victory in the series. The Hornets lost in the second round to the New York Knicks in 5 games, with Mourning averaging of 23.8 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.4 blocks in 9 playoff games.

On November 3, 1995, after Mourning rejected a contract extension offer worth an average of $11.2 million for seven years, the Hornets traded him, along with reserves Pete Myers and LeRon Ellis in exchange for Glen Rice, Matt Geiger, Khalid Reeves and a first-round pick in the 1996 NBA Draft.

Mourning served as the centerpiece of the Pat Riley-coached Heat, and in his first season with the team he averaged 23.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks a game as Miami made the playoffs before being swept in the first round by the 72 win Chicago Bulls. Mourning played in the 1996 NBA All-Star Game and was joined by all-star point guard Tim Hardaway who arrived through a midseason trade.

The following year, the Heat won a franchise record 61 wins, second in the Eastern Conference to the defending champion Bulls, and Mourning averaged 19.8 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.9 blocks. In the playoffs, Miami defeated the Orlando Magic in five games, and advanced to the conference semifinals against the New York Knicks, where the rivalry between the Heat and the New York Knicks intensified.

The next season, Mourning posted similar averages but only played in 58 games, and Miami was eliminated in the first round by the Knicks, a series in which Mourning was suspended for the 5th and deciding game due to an on-court fight with ex-teammate Larry Johnson, with Knicks Head Coach Jeff Van Gundy hanging onto Mourning’s leg in an attempt to break it up.

On March 30, 2009, Mourning became the first Miami Heat player to have his number retired.

On August 8, 2014, Mourning was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday  spotlights the intense Alonzo Mourning.

 

Career history
19921995 Charlotte Hornets
19952002 Miami Heat
20032004 New Jersey Nets
20052008 Miami Heat
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points 14,311 (17.1 ppg)
Rebounds 7,137 (8.5 rpg)
Blocks 2,356 (2.8 bpg
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