Mourning returning to Heat??
Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Alonzo Mourning could be returning to the Miami
Heat. The Miami Herald, citing several sources, reported that Mourning is
close to completing a contract buyout with the Toronto Raptors, a move that
would make him a free agent.
The Raptors acquired Mourning in mid-December along with forward Eric
Williams, forward/center Aaron Williams and two conditional first-round draft
picks from the New Jersey Nets in exchange for All-Star swingman Vince Carter.
However, Mourning refused to report to Toronto and has spent most of his time
since the trade at his home in Miami. He has not played since December 7. In
18 contests with the Nets this season, he averaged 10.4 points and 7.1
rebounds per game.
New Jersey signed the free agent Mourning to a four-year, $22 million contract
prior to the 2003-04 campaign, but his time with the Nets that season lasted
only 12 games because of a condition known as focal glomerulosclerosis. He
was forced to stop playing on November 25, 2003 and underwent a kidney
transplant less than a month later.
Mourning was picked second overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1992 NBA
Draft. He was then traded along with LeRon Ellis and Pete Myers to Miami on
November 3, 1995 for Glen Rice, Khalid Reeves, Matt Geiger and a 1996 first-
round draft choice.
The 35-year-old Mourning twice received Defensive Player of the Year honors
(1999 and 2000) with the Heat. He did not play for Miami in 2002-03 because of
the kidney disorder.
Mourning is a seven-time All-Star who owns career averages of 19.8 points
and 9.6 rebounds.