17 Kasım 2007

Alonzo Mourning "Son Sezonum"

Zo yaptığı açıklamaya göre çok yorulduğunu ve artık bırakma zamanının geldiğini açıkladı.

Zo "NBA'de çok iyi sezonlar geçirdim 2006 yılında çok istediğim şampiyonluk yüzüğünü kazandım bu sezon sonunda basketbolu bırakacağım" şeklinde açıklamada bulundu.

Zo'nun kariyer ortalamaları ;

17,4 sayı
8,7 ribaunt
2,8 blok

Alonzo Mourning, one of the Heat's best-dressed players, sauntered into the locker room before last week's game against San Antonio in charcoal-colored slacks and a white sport coat.

Fellow center Shaquille O'Neal was so moved he halted his interview in midsentence to sing the theme from the movie Shaft. Everybody had a good laugh.

In a career full of Hall of Fame moments, these are the ones Mourning will cherish most when he retires after this season, his 15th in the NBA.

"It's the camaraderie," Mourning said. "The camaraderie and the relationships I've developed with some incredible players."

Mourning will play his final season opener Thursday when the Heat faces Detroit at AmericanAirlines Arena. Mourning, whose birthday is Feb. 8, will be 38 when he wraps up what many consider a Hall of Fame career.

"I think I've contributed enough to this game where I should be considered," Mourning said. "But I have no power over that. I'll put it in God's hands. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be. If not, I don't think I had a wasted career because I don't go into the Hall of Fame."

Despite missing almost four full seasons because of health issues, including a kidney transplant in December 2003, Mourning ranks among the game's all-time best centers.

He is 10th on the career list for blocks (2,314) and has averages of 17.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.85 blocks while shooting .527 from the floor. He is a seven-time All-Star and twice was defensive player of the year. He has an NBA championship ring as well as a gold medal from the 2000 Summer Games.

And he remains one of the hardest workers in the NBA.

"There are days that he absolutely just dominates the entire practice, just like he did when he was 25," coach Pat Riley said.

His intensity might clear a path to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. He would be eligible for consideration after being retired five years.

"He's a Hall of Fame competitor," said Jeff Van Gundy, who coached the New York Knicks teams that had a heated four-year playoff rivalry with Miami during Mourning's prime.

But Van Gundy added that Mourning isn't a sure thing because the Hall has no clear-cut criteria and the process "has not been real kind to players lately."

The Class of 2007 consisted of one team, five coaches and a referee, but no players.

Since 2000, the Hall has inducted 46 members, 11 of whom were honored based on their NBA careers. Unlike the Pro Football Hall of Fame, basketball also considers college careers (Mourning was an All-America at Georgetown) and international accomplishments.

Aside from his intensity, the trademark of Mourning's career has been shot-blocking. He had five blocks in Miami's clinching Game 6 win in Dallas in 2006.

"In my opinion, he's one of the best shot-blockers to play in the NBA," said former Heat standout Glen Rice, who was shipped to Charlotte in the trade that brought Mourning to Miami in 1995.

Mourning's candidacy could be hurt because in his prime he played in an era of great centers, including O'Neal, David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing and Dikembe Mutombo."

"The center position now is a cakewalk compared to what we had," Mourning said.

O'Neal thinks Mourning is a Hall of Famer. So does Riley, who coached Hall of Fame big men Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Ewing.

"I don't think there's any doubt," Riley said. "Fifteen years of what he's done in this league, it goes without saying he will probably be there."

kaynak : NBA