Alonzo Mourning announced his retirement from the NBA on Thursday. Until I looked at his stats today, I forgot how good he was when he came into the league (as a rookie he averaged 21 points/10.3 rebounds/3.5 blocks). Mourning was also one stacked dude.
Put him together with David Robinson and Kevin Willis and you have more beef than the meat locker at Peter Luger.
But for all that Mourning has done, including mopping the floor with a certain Knicks coach, I will remember him for something he did not do, which was become a member of the Timberwolves following the 1992 NBA Draft. The 1991-1992 campaign was the worst in franchise history. Minnesota finished with the league’s worst record—15 wins and 67 losses. Yet, when the lottery balls stopped bouncing the Timberwolves were in the third slot. Orlando took Shaq first and Charlotte grabbed Mourning with the second pick. The T-Wolves ended up with Christian Laettner, who actually was better than most remember, but can’t be compared to Shaq or Zo (I actually met Laettner when came into the movie theater I worked at while I was in high school (working in a movie theater is the second best job in the world behind being an RA in a college dorm) and he was a soft-spoken and polite guy (maybe he was just stoned?)).
I hope that Mourning’s retirement is free from both physical pain and Jeff Van Gundy.