Miami Heat: The 25 Greatest Players in Franchise History

Miami Heat: The 25 Greatest Players in Franchise History

3. Alonzo Mourning

Alonzo Mourning Miami Heat

It isn’t far fetched to say that Alonzo Mourning was the franchise’s first true superstar.

While players such as Seikaly, Smith and Rice all made their marks as budding young players with the Heat organization, none of those players stayed around long enough for the franchise to truly excel when it came to winning. That was not the case with ‘Zo.

‘Zo became a member of the Heat when Riley acquired him on November 3, 1995 in a trade with the Hornets. It became the first great major acquisition in franchise history as Mourning proceeded to lead the Heat to four straight division titles and six straight playoff appearances.

Mourning won two straight Defensive Player of the Year awards and was the centerpiece in the Knicks-Heat rivalry that dominated the late 90’s NBA landscape. After spending a year-and-a-half away from the Heat, ‘Zo returned to Miami in 2005 and ended up winning his first and only NBA title during the Heat’s 2006 Finals run.

If it wasn’t for the kidney disease that cut his Heat career short beginning in 2000, Mourning could have been the franchise player that led Miami to their first NBA championship.

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