Alonzo Mourning (born February 8, 1970 in Chesapeake, Virginia) is an NBA player who is currently with the Miami Heat. He is also known simply as "Zo". Playing at center, he is 2.09 m (6 ft 10 in) tall, and weighs 118 kg (261 lb). Mourning was famous for his tenacity in defense, twice earning NBA Defensive Player of the Year honors. He is lauded for making a comeback after undergoing a kidney transplant, but also criticized for refusing to play with the Toronto Raptors just because the team's season record was poor.
Upon his graduation from Indian River High School in Chesapeake, Mourning played college basketball for the Georgetown University Hoyas. In 1992 he was selected second overall in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, behind Shaquille O'Neal. Mourning and teammate Larry Johnson elevated the Hornets into a 50-win team and brought them to the playoffs. Mourning was one of four players to lead an NBA team in four major statistical categories (along with Dana Barros, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Scottie Pippen), ranking first on the team in scoring (21.3 ppg), rebounding (9.9 rpg), blocked shots (2.92 per game), and field goal percentage (.519).
Friction with Johnson and contract issues forced a change, so after three years in Charlotte, he was traded to Miami, where he played for the Heat for the next seven seasons. He was the centerpiece of the Pat Riley-coached Miami Heat, averaging close to 20 points and 10 rebounds, and dominating the paint with his intimidating shotblocking. He won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award twice during this period and was named into the All-NBA First Team after leading the Heat in scoring (20.1 ppg), field-goal percentage (.511), rebounds, blocked shots and double-doubles (29). He and Tim Hardaway led the Heat into playoffs, where the Knicks-Heat rivalry intensified.
However, before the 2000-01 season, he was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a disease of the kidneys, that had caused him to miss many games for the past few seasons. Even after the diagnose, Mourning still played in the 2002 NBA All-Star Game. Because his condition worsened, Mourning did not play during the entire 2002-03 season.
As a free agent, in 2003 he signed a four-year contract with the New Jersey Nets. But on November 25, 2003 Mourning retired from the NBA due to complications from his kidney disease. On December 19 of that year he underwent a successful kidney transplant. In 2004, he started practicing with the Nets again, and made the team's regular season roster for a part of his time spent with the Nets in the 2004-05 season. However, he did not play a significant role with the Nets. He was traded to the Toronto Raptors on December 17, 2004 who later waived him.
Mourning re-signed with the Heat on March 1, 2005. His role is reduced as a backup to Shaquille O'Neal. Because of physical limitations, his minutes are reduced, but he is still a steady contributor. Mourning's tenacious defense, steady offense, and all around hustle have helped the Heat gain and maintain the 2nd best record in the NBA's Eastern conference during the 2005-06 season; this intesity has earned him the title "The Ultimate Warrior" amongst Miami Heat fans. Mourning finished the regular season ranking third in blocked shots at 2.66 per game, despite only playing 20 minutes per contest.
- All-NBA First Team: 1999
- All-NBA Second Team: 2000
- 2-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year: 1999, 2000
- 2-time NBA All-Defensive First Team: 1999, 2000
- 7-time NBA All-Star: 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002
- Led NBA in blocked shots: 3.91 bpg in 1999
- NBA All-Rookie 1st Team in 1993
- Won bronze at the 1990 World Championship with the US Team
- Won gold at the 1994 World Championship and the 2000 Olympic Games with the US Team
When Mourning was traded from the Nets to the Raptors along with two other players (Aaron Williams and Eric Williams) and two-draft-picks for Vince Carter, the Raptors could not play him, as he declined to show up to Toronto. This action was heavily criticized by the media. Mourning stayed on the injured list for several months before having the remainder of his contract bought out, and getting released. Many believed that he was on the injured list just to avoid playing with the low-ranked Raptors, preferring to play for a championship contender. Soon after his release, Mourning signed with his former team, the Miami Heat.
- One of his greatest rivals was fellow Georgetown and Knicks center Patrick Ewing.
- Mourning is one of two Miami Heat players to be named one of People Magazine's 50 most beautiful people (along with Dwyane Wade).
- Mourning contibuted $25,000 to the American Democratic Party in 2004.
- At 36, he is one of the better conditioned players in the league
- Member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity