When Sorrows Come

They come not as single spies but in battalions.  That’s the way things are operating in Miami this season.

Last night, Alonzo Mourning tore his patellar tendon while trying to defend a Mario West lay-up. His foot slipped as he prepared to jump and ‘Zo did his best Walls of Jericho impression. Really, it was a weird injury. There was no contact. He come down on someones foot or take a bad bang in the post. One minute he was healthy and the next, an ex-NBA player. Life isn’t always like the movies.

The injury was bad enough that the trainers rolled a stretcher on the floor to take Mourning back to the locker room. Zo refused and, with the help of Dwayne Wade and Earl Barron, walked off the court for possibly the last time.

That’s not the way I envisioned myself walking off the court for the last time in my career. I’ve been through so much in my life. If I had to crawl off the court I would have. Nobody was going to push me off on a stretcher off the court. That wasn’t going to happen.

Alonzo is tops in my book. His Charlotte Hornets were the first team I rooted for other than my hometown squad, so much so that I owned a Hornets beanbag chair for a number of years. A member of the history’s All-Defensive Team, Zo’s career has been an open display of his survival skills: averaging 20-10 in his rookie season, his appearance in the 2002 NBA All-Star game after he’d been diagnosed with kidney disease, returning to play with the Nets and working a modern trade-me-but-I-won’t-report-to-where-you-trade-me duke, rejoining Miami and playing behind the only player drafted before him to win a ring. I doubt Alonzo will make it back from the injury but if anyone can, it’s Zo. Survivorman.

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