Pat Riley reveals what happened after Alonzo Mourning told him ‘f–k you’ in practice

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Miami Heat president Pat Riley revealed what happened after star big man Alonzo Mourning apparently said, “f— you” to him in practice.

“I remember when Zo — when I was coaching Zo, and I was pushing him real hard in practice one day,” Riley said. “And Zo was the best. He never said anything — he just worked. So, I shouldn’t even have went after him, but I went after him one day. And not in a real negative way, but I went after him hard ’cause I wanted to motivate him, to motivate the other guys. And so he gave me the F you. So, everything comes to a silence in the practice. We’re over at La Salle at the time. That’s when we played the Miami Arena. And I looked at him, and he looked at me, and he said to me — he said, ‘Should I go?’ I said, ‘Where?’ He said, ‘Should I leave the practice floor?’ I said, ‘You’re right, get out of here.'”

Mourning also played for the Charlotte Hornets and New Jersey Nets during his NBA career but spent the lion’s share of his time in the league with the storied Heat franchise. He spent 11 of his 15 seasons in the pros with the Heat, and during that span, he earned five All-Star nods.

Arguably Mourning’s best season with the Heat came during the 1995-96 season, his first season with the team. He averaged a career-high 23.2 points to go along with 10.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steal and 2.7 blocks per game in 70 appearances with the Heat in the regular season.

The 53-year-old served as a dominant defensive presence for the Heat in his first stint with the team. Mourning won two straight Defensive Player of the Year awards in the 1998-99 and 1999-00 seasons. He averaged 3.7 blocks per game or more in each of those two seasons.

During his second stint with the Heat, he was a bit long in the tooth but still served as a valuable role player on the 2005-06 iteration of the team that went on to win the NBA title. In 65 games played and 20 starts with Miami during the regular season, he averaged 7.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game while shooting 59.7 percent from the field.

Fast forward to the 2006 playoffs, and Mourning averaged 4.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game while shooting 69.2 percent from the floor against the Dallas Mavericks in the championship series.

Mourning’s last season in the NBA and with the Heat organization came in the 2007-08 season. He appeared in just 25 games with Miami during the regular season and averaged 6.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.

The seven-time All-Star should be remembered by Heat fans as not only one of the best big men but one of the best players in franchise history. He consistently made an impact on both ends of the floor with Miami, even in his twilight years in the NBA.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.