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Is Alonzo Mourning a Hall of Famer?

what do you think?


By the Hall's standards, 'Zo should be in.
Glenn James/Getty Images

By Marty Burns

Bailey Howell. Andy Phillip. Arnie Risen. No, they're not members of David Stern's legal team. They're members of the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame. Their names aren't recognizable to the average NBA fan, yet they've been granted a sacred place in Hoops Heaven. If they're in, then why not Alonzo Mourning?

Granted, Mourning never won an NBA title. Also, 'Zo played only eight seasons before being diagnosed with his kidney disease. And his early thuggishness -- brawling with Larry Johnson and trying to decapitate Scottie Pippen -- wouldn't be at the top of any Hall bio.

But Mourning grew up, and his game blossomed. Though he never lost his cartoonish scowl, he learned to control his ferocity. He became a leader on and off the court, winning the NBA's Citizenship Award (2002). And he put up better career numbers than several Hall of Famers, including Howell, Phillip, Risen and newly elected Hall members Robert Parish and James Worthy.

Over those first eight seasons, Mourning averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds. He was a seven-time All-Star. He won two Defensive Player of the Year awards. He led the Heat to the Eastern Conference finals.

When it comes to any sports Hall of Fame, the standards are relative. The Basketball Hall of Fame is a big tent. If Howell, Phillip and Risen are in, then 'Zo should be there, too.


'Zo just didn't do enough to be elected.
Victor Baldizon/Getty Images

By Jack McCallum

I hate taking this position, because the the argument invariably sounds like a denigration of the player. And, as I wrote in an SI.com column after Alonzo Mourning announced his retirement, I had ultimate respect for him as a player.

But I just don't think his nine seasons at the top of his game are quite enough to merit Hall of Fame inclusion.

How many is enough? I don't know. But I've always thought that a Hall of Fame player should be dominant for at least a decade.

There is no question that 'Zo's kidney disease is all that stands between him and the HOF. But one thing you don't want is for a Hall of Fame to become a Hall of Asterisks.

Countless others players in other sports would be Hall of Famers if not for injuries and, in rare cases such as Mourning's, illness.

One other thing: I might waive the decade thing had Mourning been able to lead one of his teams (Charlotte or Miami) near a championship. He couldn't do that.

He was a proud warrior, and my guess is he will continue his fund-raising crusade on behalf of kidney disease. One day, that might even be an exhibit in the Hall of Fame. But I don't think he belongs there as a player.


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Comments

  • In the perfect world where the Hall of fame has high standards, Alonzo should closely miss the cut. Sure, his career averages were amazing, but he did only play 10 seasons and his teams weren't successful in the post season.

    But then again, if James Worthy made it, Why should Zo get in? the standards of the Hall of Fame are just wayyyy too low nowadays. And yes, I know at least five no-namers who are also on the Hall of Fame - I'll go try and dig them up. By the way its going, Even Mutombo can even finish up there.
  • neth_rowneth_row PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    He should be. Not because on the account that some no-namers are in that list. But because of the passion for the game that he showed. That to me is more important than numbers.
  • anyway, Mourning's one of the my all-time favorite players so I sure hope he gets in.
  • kung c grant hill d mahahall of fame dahil sa injuries, isama na si mourning! :) grant hill is way better than zo. hehe..
  • grant is way better than ZO?! hehe... Hmmm... Grant Hill maybe better looking than Zo (yes, that's the only point where Hill will be better than Zo), but Zo clearly has been the better player.
  • shox920shox920 PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    Why not? he's been part of the US Basketball Team... Representing his country.....
  • color_s_Kaboinkcolor_s_Kaboink PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    sa kin......siguro hindi......though i like the intensity of ZO....i think di pa rin eh.....
  • ^ same with commish.

    june_dunk.gif
  • in my book, the standards have been bent too low and Mourning is now a shoo in. If you keep on forcing high standards, then we the HALL OF FAME should remove players who got in with the lowering of such standards.

    *peace*
  • Zo credentials too low is an understatement. He deserves to be in it even if he didn't win a championship. He's the smallest center to ever lead the league in blocks in a season. He's the smallest center to ever win defensive player of the year. And if Passion and Heart is a category, he would have a lot of those too.

    Championships aren't the main requirement to be a hall of famer, just ask future hall of famers Ewing and Barkley. The main criteria IMO is the difference you've made in the game of basketball during your tenure. Zo deserves to be there by all means.
  • I'll go for Dennis Rodman. Hehe

    Indeed!
  • di rin. and i dont think he'll earn that distinction in the future.
  • Originally posted by jhowlett
    Zo credentials too low is an understatement. He deserves to be in it even if he didn't win a championship. He's the smallest center to ever lead the league in blocks in a season. He's the smallest center to ever win defensive player of the year. And if Passion and Heart is a category, he would have a lot of those too.

    Championships aren't the main requirement to be a hall of famer, just ask future hall of famers Ewing and Barkley. The main criteria IMO is the difference you've made in the game of basketball during your tenure. Zo deserves to be there by all means.

    Same sentiment here.
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