by Marcel Mutoni

In the first quarter of the thrilling Heat/Hawks game in the ‘A’ last night, Alonzo Mourning collapsed in a heap after tearing the patellar tendon in his right knee. It happened as ‘Zo defended the hoop during a Hawks fast-break, and immediately, Mourning knew he was down for the count.

“I went over to help him up and he just said, ‘It’s over. It’s over,’ ” power forward Udonis Haslem said.

Even still, Alonzo’s trademark pride remained on full display. He refused to be wheeled off the court on a stretcher. Mourning, understandably, was crestfallen in the locker room following the injury.

“I’ve been through a whole lot worse than this,” Mourning said of beating kidney disease and returning from his transplant. “It’s disappointing to even think my career would end this way.”>

Some of his theatrics may have antagonized most fans of the game, but let it never be said that the man was not a warrior throughout his career. He absolutely was.

Alonzo Mourning, a 15-year vet who holds every meaningful statistical record for the Miami Heat franchise, will go down as one of the best and most intimidating defensive players of all time. Happy trails, big man.