Wednesday, April 1, 2009
It is fitting that the first Heat jersey to be retired was Alonzo Mourning, because nobody in Heat history to that point had truly been a fan favorite like Zo was. When Pat Riley took over in 1995-96 season he brought in Zo to be the face of the franchise, and the rest was history. Zo, the warrior, took this team to levels that they only dreamed of, with division titles and playoff battles. It was a shame that he never was able to lift his teams to the NBA Championship, but it was fitting that when the Heat finally did collect their first ring, Zo played a role. He was not the same dominant player that he had been, but it was a testament to his character that he battled off the bench nonetheless for a franchise that he loved so much. Zo gave his heart and soul to Riley and it was our joy as fans to watch him on Monday night be rewarded with his jersey lifted to the rafters. Zo will always be remembered by us as a competitor who caught a few bad breaks, but never stopped fighting for this squad. Congratulations Zo, you deserve the honor.