When Shaq and Alonzo Mourning were rookies in 1992, I begged my dad to buy tickets to the first meeting between the Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets. He did and lucky me, I got to see one of the first NBA games of the MDE. Unfortunately, Alonzo was a rookie holdout so I didn’t get to see him play in person…ever. I’ve seen him at events and even went shopping next to him at a Nike Store in Miami around 2001 but I never got to see one of the last true great centers play a NBA game. And that still bothers me.
What did make me feel better was watching him win an NBA championship in 2006, alongside the player that I was hoping to see him battle in 1992. Then on March 30th of 2009, the Heat retired his jersey. And it was only fitting they were playing the Orlando Magic that night.
Tonight, I’m feeling great again because I got to see the great Alonzo Mourning get inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. On the night my Dad and I went to the Magic and Hornets game, I predicted the two rookies would become Hall of Famers. I was told “it was too early” to make predictions like that. He was right at the time but I was also right.
VS MICHAEL JORDAN
Another thing I loved about Zo was how he loved to challenge dunk attempts by Michael Jordan and Shaq, no matter how many times they dunked on him. In today’s game, most “big men” are afraid to challenge dunks because of the fear they will become a viral meme.
Alonzo Mourning talks about the price you pay when you block Michael Jordan's shot.https://t.co/0t3EEHNnl2
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) August 3, 2016