Chat with Alonzo Mourning
Mourning had been working on another comeback, after suffering a terrible leg injury he suffered in December 2007. He won his first NBA championship with the Miami Heat in 2006. For his career, he averaged 17.1 points and 8.5 rebounds and he was selected twice as the NBA defensive player of the year.
Now that Mourning is retired, it will give him more time to continue his work with the McDonald's All American Games, where he is the chair of the Advisory Council. On Friday, Mourning will be announcing "Zo's Top 33" -- the top 33 former All Americans based on their athletic ability and their commitment to giving back and helping their communities. Fans can check out the list on the brand new All-American blog at InsideTheGames.net.
Send in your questions now and join Mourning at 12:30 p.m. ET on Friday!
Buzzmaster (12:27 PM)
Alonzo will be here in minutes!
Buzzmaster (12:34 PM)
We've got Alonzo!
How hard was it for you at the press conference yesterday?
Alonzo Mourning (12:35 PM)
Well, it was difficult. It was very difficult to separate yourself with something you're passionate about and love. But one thing you can guarantee in life and that's change. I felt that I've given everything I can to the game. It was time to move on without jeopardizing my overall health for the next 40-50 years.
Now that you're retired, will you be working more with McDonald's on their council?
Alonzo Mourning (12:36 PM)
Yes. I plan on playing a significant role and enhance McDonald's All American charitable efforts. I feel that the game not only am I an example for the game, but it exemplifies what I stand for and that's community service. Helping the Ronald McDonald houses, helping the children and families in need.
How cool is it for you to be one of the top 5 McDonald's All American players of all time?
Alonzo Mourning (12:37 PM)
Well, it's an honor. I know that when you look at that list of individuals, we all share an interest and it's not just the play on the court, but the community. It's an honor.
We're not going to see you pull a Brett Favre any time soon are we? Pull back your retirement and make a comeback like Jordan?
Alonzo Mourning (12:38 PM)
Brett Favre and I are two different players and two different people. I am not making a comeback. My health is something that I treasure more than anything. I want to enjoy the rest of my life and it's important that I'm healthy and am here for my children and family.
Mark from denton texas [via mobile]
What do you feel like your greatest achievement off the court was?
Alonzo Mourning (12:38 PM)
My greatest achievement off the court was to establish my foundation, which has raised more than $7 million over the last 12 years.
Mitchell (Cleveland, OH)
Hey, Alonzo, thanks for you time. So I was wondering, how sad was it to leave the game you love? Also, what are you going to do now?
Alonzo Mourning (12:40 PM)
It wasn't sadness that I was feeling. It was bringing closure to something that you love, from the perspective of a physical standpoint. I feel that I have a tremendous knowledge of the game that I can provide. There wasn't any sadness at all. I have nothing to hang my head about because I felt I had physicall giving everything I had to the game.
Rick (Annapolis, MD)
How much say did you have in the list of 33?
Alonzo Mourning (12:41 PM)
Well, I had a huge say in it. I think that overall, when you think about it, being the advisory council captain, I think I played an important role in choosing the individuals on that list and understanding the significance behind that list.
How hard was it for you to come up with this list?
Alonzo Mourning (12:42 PM)
It was pretty difficult. You have an elite group of individuals that are very good in what they do. The balance is your community contributions. I think the contributions that they made to their communities as well as what they've given to the sport of basketball, that's what separated all of the individuals from the rest.
BOSS OKC,OK [via mobile]
Zo good career college and pro. How's ur health? What do u think of da addition of da okc thunder,seattle all over again or what?
Alonzo Mourning (12:43 PM)
My health is great. I've reached a point in time in my career, that's the most important factor in all of this that I'm healthy and can live a productive life.
Grr (Orlando, FL)
Are you a Hall of Famer?
Alonzo Mourning (12:43 PM)
I don't know. I'll let some others determine that. Time is going to dictate whether or not those individuals think I am worthy of a place in the hall.
Ray (Everett WA) [via mobile]
Hello Alonzo. Do you see coaching in your future?
Alonzo Mourning (12:45 PM)
Yeah, I could see that in the works. But at the same time, time will dictate everything for me. I have a knowledge for the game. As soon as an opportunity presents itself, I'll think about it. But I'm focusing on my family and my efforts and helping the young, future stars, reach their full potential on and off the court, especially with the McDonald's game.
What are your thoughts on the current state of Georgetown basketball?
Alonzo Mourning (12:46 PM)
I think that with John Thompson coming back and filling the void that his father left, it has put the program back on the map. I think we've established our dominance again, in the Big East and throughout the conference. I'm excited to see Georgetown basketball back again.
Prentice (Atlanta, Ga.
Zo,if health was never a factor for you..How much longer would you've liked to keep it going.?
Alonzo Mourning (12:48 PM)
If I wouldn't have had any injuries at all, I would have wanted to have played until I was 40, 45. I love the game and I'm passionate about it. I take pride in taking care of my body. As long as I kept myself in condition, I could play forever. When you go into the game, you go with that mentality. But eventually, Father Time catches up with everyone. And there's no beating Father Time. Everyone knows that, except for Dikembe, he's a unique individual. I gave it my all and I put in as much as any who cares about their craft.
Chad Cleveland OH [via mobile]
What was it like to finally get the championship ring with the Heat?
Alonzo Mourning (12:49 PM)
It was probably one of the most exhilarating times in my life. It really was. To know that a group of guys can come together and beat all odds and be triumphant. Other than the birth of my children, that was one of the most amazing moments of my life.
Alonzo Mourning (12:50 PM)
I just want to thank everybody for their support over the years. Just the support has helped contribute to my success. I'm appreciative for it. As we move along in life, hopefully my community endeavors will be worthy of your support as well. That will enable me to do more.