Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 at 2:33 pm  |  61 responses

Alonzo Mourning Announces Retirement

by Ryne Nelson

Through all the ups and downs, the injuries and devastating organ failures, Zo never called it quits on returning to basketball. That is, until today. Alonzo Mourning called it a career…and it’s for good.

Mourning was a soldier on the court and had a heart of gold off of it. The Miami Herald has more:

“After 16 years, I truly feel that it is best that I retire from the game of basketball,” Mourning said in front of a sign that read, “Warriors Do Not Live in the Past, the Past is Dead, Life is Now, and the Future is Waiting.”

He then gathered himself and added, “At 38 years old, I feel like I’ve physically done all I can for this game. As God only knows, it’s been an amazing ride. It’s not a sad day. But it’s a day to celebrate. I could think of a million people right now that would love to walk the path that I walked.”

To me, the moment that will forever embody Alonzo Mourning’s legacy in the NBA came last season when he tore the patella tendon in his right knee. He decided to leave by his own will instead of being taken out on the stretcher. That’s Heart. That’s Alonzo Mourning.

He did the Nets dirty at one point in his career, but that was mainly the business side of the League. There will always be much respect for his hustle–whether it was for 40 minutes as a starter or 10 off the bench. Much respect, too, for his charity off the court, ferocious dunks and top-notch defense. All in all, this man was one hell of a basketball player when healthy. Zo will be missed.

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  • http://slamonline.com Tzvi T

    He’ll be missed. I grew up on Knicks-Heat sundays.

  • http://www.youtube.com/teamairyork blackice87

    no mention of doing the raptors dirty neither…..oh wait i forgot the raptors aren’t really an NBA team.

  • Julius J. Hornswaggle IV

    Say it ain’t zo, Zo!

  • http://docfunk.blogspot.com Doc Funk

    Tell me right now that a one-legged Zo couldn’t play for OKC

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    Thanks for the memories, Zo.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Nice post. ZO is a truly inspiring player and person. I’m sure he will do a lot with his life after the NBA.

  • Pro


  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    And he got a ring. I’m glad he has that chip to go out with. He deserved it.

  • joe

    I must echo Tzvi T, Zo will be missed, and I too, grew up on Knicks-Heat sundays, on NBC- those were the days. Zo better be making a trip to Springfield

  • Buddy Christ

    You’ll be missed Zo. My favorite memory of him was watching Jeff Van Gundy clinging to his leg. Good times. Good times.

  • Todd Spehr

    It’s not often we can call NBA players inspirational, but that’s the word that best describes Alonzo Mourning. My favorite Zo memory was Gm. 6 of the ’06 Finals when he played about 15 minutes, and played them like his life depended on it. Congrats on a great career.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    I honestly, honestly forgot he was still in the League.

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    If they don’t retire his number tomorrow, Flash should demand a trade.

  • mike

    Thought he was gonna try for a comeback when i saw him at zo’s summer groove, guess not

  • dubya816

    Now if Shaq would leave. Although credit to the big man for this season

  • http://collinsbasketballblog@blogspot.com collin

    HALL OF FAME!!!!

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    A fruitful career to a close. Congrats, Zo.

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  • http://collinsbasketballblog.blogspot.com Collin

    wish he would have stayed longer

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Cheryl

    Thanks, Zo. Now, go enjoy the rest of your life!

  • http://www.alloutblitz.com cordeazy

    Finally! whoa. i usually hate when people say so-and so stayed too long. But Zo, you stayed tooooo long my man….that said, I hope he comes out of retirement and signs with the Pistons. Can’t be worse than Kwame Brown right?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy
  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Bye. Sorry about that SLAM cover where your forehead was like nine feet tall. Oh yeah, Jason Kidd says get f*cked.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    And the commenters get chided for saying dumb sh*t.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Well, I take that back…..Russ probably has a story of Zo being a prick in a locker room somewhere, so he has a reason I guess.

  • http://www.bbl.org.uk Josh D

    This guy should be in Sprinfield

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I honestly hated Zo with a passion on the basketball court, but dude has done some great work with charities and his courage to come back after kidney failure was remarkable. Much respect.

  • underdog

    I’m glad he’s retiring with a ring on his finger. He was a true warrior out there. I wish you all the best Zo!

  • j-smoov 5

    Dude’s one of my favorite players…Good luck Zo!

  • Tuomas

    All I’ll say is this: I have a couple Heat games from last season, and the only reason I’m saving them is because Zo was playing. He still was a (mainly defensive) presence whenever he was out there. Not to mention the beast moments here and there, blocking the hell out of superstars and dunking on them on the other end. Here’s to you, Zo. Enjoy life and keep doing good.

  • nas

    remember his game winner in the playoffs his rookie season against birds celtics in the playoffs – feels like yesterday….

  • tfast

    The league just got a little softer. Thanks for all the memories Zo!!!

  • MeloMan13

    i hate this guy. he snaked the raptors and thats the only reason he won a ring. i didn’t feel he deserved it

  • Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo

    haha i told my brother zo i would outlast him. it is unfortunate he was hurt. zo is a great man

  • From out of Nowhere

    I have a Starting Lineup figure from his first run with the Heat. Too bad it’s hidden somewhere. So long Zo, and thanks for the memories.

  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    Cosign Ryan. I wish you guys could’ve seen my face when I read this headline. It is most accurately described as befuddled. But in all seriousness, the ZO-LJ combo in NBA Jam made me a fan of Zo for eternity. Nobody played harder in the ’06 playoffs than Zo in game 6 of the finals.

  • melvin ely

    The one thing I remember most about Zo is reading an article by Scoop about him getting smacked in the face, heading to the bench, spitting out a tooth, then coming back out onto the court. Oh, that and watching him scream at his biceps everytime he makes a great play.

  • http://www.kayceonline.com/blog/ Kevin

    i’m not sure he’ll make the Hall, but i sure hope he will.. he accomplished a lot off the court as well.

  • wilz

    he did the raps dirty more than the nets. gotta love him tho

  • Reno

    I am glad that he got that one ring…I wished Malone, Barkley, Stockton could’ve too

  • http://www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    Off topic here, but fitting for the sad moment: i beg everyone who knows of him and enjoys reading him (even those who don’t) to go over to the worldwide follower and read Sports Guy’s latest story called “one last toss for the dooze”. i kinda had to grab a tissue cause something was threatening to leak outta my eyes! It’s a bit long (like most of his articles) but if you do not feel anything while reading that, you have my sincerest pity for being a coldhearted human.

  • http://www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    Alonzo with his style (guy knew how to wear them clothes), fierce attitude oncourt, good heart off it and life struggles was a great person in my eyes. And this coming from someone who despised him during his first stint in Miami with Timmy et al. Job well done, Zo.

  • http://courtsidebasketball.blogspot.com/ stu

    say what you want about the man, but he and sean elliot are both role models for anyone who has had, or facing the possibility of going through a kidney transplant.. no word yet on a heart for eddy curry.. i offered him some of mine, he said he’d pay me in pounds, not quite sure what he meant.. or why he was naked..

  • http://www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    @stu: your last line? Priceless.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Alonzo Mourning was/is a baller. You have to give him credit. Back in New York, when our Knicks played the Heat in one of the greatest rivalries in NBA history, Alonzo was always out there giving 100%. It was a beautiful period in the NBA, pure, raw, energetic basketball.
    As much as we rooted against him in the past for our Knicks, you have to give Alonzo props for a great career.
    Always loyal to the Heat, any Miami fan should feel lucky to have this guy finish his career there. They should retire his number in the stands.
    Best of luck to Alonzo in the future.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Plus, he did let us enjoy the funniest Nba oncourt altercation ever….JVG clinging to his leg and being dragged along. I need that pic stat as a wallpaper

  • http://thesportcount.com Anton @ TheSportCount.com

    That’s a real bummer. I would’ve loved to have seen him suit up for one last go round.

    A great human, and a great baller.

  • Tommy Vercetti

    I am really glad he got a ring before he retired. He fought alot of years to get that championship.

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ ANTONIS FOTSIS

    Alonzo protecting the rim like a goalkeaper is one of the best things i’ve ever seen in a basketball court…

  • Young Chris MP3

    I wanted the Celtics to sign him up for the PJ Brown run…

  • Vannshy
  • Edmond

    he is a heck of a player. To me, one of the best defenders (weak side or 1-1) in the NBA. Almost all are intimidated when trying to score against him.

  • matt the jazz fan

    Well-written post. Sober, heartfelt and on point. Good luck with the rest of your endeavours, Zo.

  • http://hoops4life.com overtime

    In terms of pure heart, he is top 5 all-time. Defining moment is swatting the hell out of Jason Terry in the finals, and then actually having a fit.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    thanks vannshy



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  • Sam Z

    thanks for everything ZO

  • TR

    As a skinny norwegian fourteen year old, I did all I could to be like Zo. Succeeded with the sweatbands, blocked shots and ornery demeanor, the rest not so much. Hope he puts his tough as nails mindset to work for a good cause. Now, If I could only get biceps like those, hehe

  • Gaz

    Gimme a B!!!

  • Gaz

    Gimme a E!!!