The New York Knicks and Miami Heat rivalry was a top draw in the late 1990s, and Alonzo Mourning was at the center of the battle with good friend Patrick Ewing.
Basketball Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning and the Miami Heat were fierce competition for the Patrick Ewing led New York Knicks during their fantastic rivalry in the late 1990s and 2000 playoffs. Their intense matchups cannot be forgotten
At half-time of the Georgetown-Texas NCAA game, this past Thursday at Madison Square Garden, Mourning and CUNY basketball player Chris Saint-Remy took part in a HORSE shootout competition, by GuardianLife as one of the highlights of the 2K Empire Classic Tourney, which benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.
The half-time shoot-out showcased that “disability is not inability” and that no matter what health issues people have, they can compete and excel at the highest levels. To bring to life Guardian’s conviction that Disability Doesn’t Mean Inability, Saint-Remy shot from his wheelchair while Mourning shot standing during the shootout.
Empire Writes Back was on hand at the game to discuss Mourning’s continued inspiration in the world of health and look back at his playing career.
Can you talk about your comeback from kidney disease during your career and the inspiration it continues to serve to others today?
"“What I went through the reason people know about it because of basketball and my platform. I was able to motivate and inspire people receiving the transplant back in 2003. Coming back and winning a world championship in 2006. Thinking about 20 million Americans who suffer from chronic kidney disease. I received countless emails and letters from individuals that were inspired by that story it was much bigger than me receiving that transplant. I truly believe a big reason why I went through what I went through was to motivate so many others dealing with health obstacles.”"
How would you describe your relationship with current Georgetown men’s basketball head coach Patrick Ewing?
"“We have a brotherly type of relationship he is the godfather to two of my kids so he’s family I’m proud of him he has the basketball pedigree and experience to really perform extremely level at this level. I know with recruiting and some more time his teams will evolve into good teams. I’m pretty pleased with the fact that he got the job.”"
What was your biggest takeaway from the Knicks vs. Heat playoffs rivalry?
"“The intensity level was so high with each game it was like the world stopped when we played against each other. Everybody wax tubes in to see the outcome so you had to play your best basketball. It brought out the best of me so it gave me a tremendous opportunity to improve on so many different levels. When you raise the level of competition either you run from it or you step up to the challenge and truly games like that in my career helped make my career. I miss those rivalries, I’m happy to have been apart of such an amazing basketball rivalry that people can still talk about today.”"
Could you imagine John Thompson or Pat Riley having you shoot more threes and play on the perimeter during your playing days?
"“I was extremely effective in the paint area I couldn’t imagine shooting threes we had enough people shooting threes”"
The rivalries of the 1990s are often considered the best in NBA history and raise the bar for anything that can be replicated in today’s era of super teams.