Friday , Dec , 21 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Should Miami Heat’s Alonzo Mourning Be Inducted Into Basketball Hall of Fame?

The NBA’s fiercest warrior could be finished. Last night, Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning suffered a possible career ending knee injury against the San Antonio Spurs.

Mourning attempted to block a shot, planted awkwardly on his right leg, and collapsed in pain. In typical ‘Zo’ fashion, he refused to be carted off in a wheel chair and limped to the dressing room with help from teammates.

Today, news broke that the former All-Star underwent surgery and is facing months of intensive rehab. Simply put, the weight room fiend and all-time favorite of Coach Pat Riley has likely played his final NBA game.

Hoop heads universally respect #33’s on and off-court legacy, but remain split on whether Mourning gets in the basketball Hall of Fame.

So does ‘Zo’ deserve a place in the James Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame? As always, read both arguments below, form an opinion, and vote in the comment box below.

Yes, Mourning is a Hall of Fame player …

  • Mourning was an all-time undersized center, dominating the defensive end of the floor.  His greatness, 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game, came through sheer determination and effort.

  • Mourning was a legit 20-10 center for eight seasons before undergoing kidney replacement surgery. Somehow, the surgery didn’t end his career and Mourning defied the odds to play several more seasons.

  • The numbers: seven-time NBA All-Star, two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, one First Team All-NBA honors, one Second Team All-NBA honors, and two First Team All-Defensive honors.

  • Mourning is a class act. Away from the game, the center defined gentle-giant, giving back to the Miami community through his numerous charities and summer block party.

No, Mourning is not a Hall of Fame player …

  • Mourning was very good, but not great. During his prime, he never dropped outstanding numbers.

  • The Heat never advanced far in the playoffs with Mourning as their star. His squads consistently found ways to choke during the second-season, especially against the Knicks.

Verdict: Yes, Mourning is a Hall of Fame player.

Why: For eight years -before kidney surgery- Mourning was an elite center. After the operation, the Georgetown grad changed his style and became a competent role player.

Looking strictly at the numbers, Mourning falls short. However, some leeway should be given because of his kidney surgery. There is precedence for sports’ Hall of Fames to give special consideration for extreme circumstances. For example, the hockey Hall of Fame recently admitted Cam Neely even though his career was cut short because of a Charlie horse injury.

Of course, Mourning also has a 2006 NB championship ring and spent several years as a solid back-up. So ‘Zo’ is in.

Does Mourning deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? Get at us in the comment box below or hit us up in .

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