Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Zo Wants To Come Back

With all of this talk about the Heat's young and exciting NBA Draft possibilities, I figured I'd spend some time talking about news made by ol' Mr. Heat himself, Alonzo Mourning. On Monday, at Jason Taylor's celebrity golf tournament in Davie, Zo said, "I want to come back and play another year." This does not necessarily mean that you will see the 38 year old Mourning in a Heat uniform this year. He is recovering from knee surgery which has kept him off the basketball court since Dec. 19, 2007. Better stated, the news is that if Zo's health cooperates, he will likely be back with Miami for the 2008-2009 season.

I, for one, am crossing my fingers hoping that his rehab goes well and we see opponent's shots swatted into the fifth row this upcoming season. When both Zo and Shaq were playing in the early months of last season, I found myself appreciating Zo's game a little more. His defensive and shot-blocking presence was almost as pronounced as when he was at the prime of his career. Unlike O'Neal, Zo was hustling EVERY SINGLE PLAY. Not only do I feel a sentimental tug towards Zo as the very embodiment of Heat basketball, but I feel that on a very practical level he can contribute on a rebuilding Heat roster, who, by the way, needs center depth baaaadly (try winning a playoff series with Mark Blount as your only semi-viable option).

Zo has gone through so much for this franchise. In my very humble opinion the Heat should retire his number before the end of his career. He deserves to go out on a better note than 15-67, and hopefully the health gods will once again cooperate and give us the chance, nay the privilege, of watching what "heart" looks like if it took human form and played basketball.


Christian said...

Putting Shaq and Zo together in the same sentence was insulting. Anything said about Zo is an understatement, hope he comes back next year.

ASponge said...

I agree on two things:

1. I reaaaally hope he comes back.

2. They should retire his number now.

Interestingly, of all the injuries last season, his was the one that seemed the most detrimental. He was as vital to the Championship team as Shaq (who stank it up in the Finals, let's remember).

And Christian...thanks for the comments!

Billy Zane said...

I have to say my favorite Zo moment was when the team stank and he decided to go after the money and bolted to New Jersey. Also love that he refused to play for New Jersey, even though they paid his salary while he sat out with his kidney problems. Theres a spot waiting for his jersey alright. Its in the ladies room at Madison Square Garden right next to Tim Hardaway's stall.

Comparing Shaq and Zo is ridiculous. Shaq is still a better player than Zo, and in their peak Shaq was a league changer.

ASponge said...

Billy Zane:

What happened to your career after Titanic? Loved you in that, though.

As for NJ fans, I truly am sympathetic. At the same time, I don't think you can blame a guy for not risking his life on a losing team. Keep in mind, he had to train for weeks just to play for Miami (this was after the VC trade and Toronto buyout).

I don't blame you for feeling cheated, but you also have to imagine Alonzo's predicament. It wasn't just a matter of putting on his sneakers and playing.