The Palm Beach Post (Chris Perkins) reports: Alonzo Mourning, perhaps the greatest player in Heat history, announced his retirement Thursday afternoon in a news conference at AmericanAirlines Arena. Mourning, 38, is a likely Hall of Fame selection who spent the majority of his career – roughly 11 full years of his 15 seasons – with Miami. The 6-foot-10 center teamed with guard Tim Hardaway and coach Pat Riley to form the basis of Miami’s success of the late 1990s and early this decade. Mourning, who returned to the NBA after undergoing a kidney transplant in 2003, was a key contributor to the Heat’s only championship season in 2006. Mourning, who will be 39 on Feb. 8, sustained a devastating knee injury on Dec. 19, 2007 in Atlanta, tearing his patella tendon and quadriceps muscle in his right leg. “I spent the past year rehabbing and thinking about my basketball future. after 16 years I truly feel it’s best i retire from the game of basketball,” Mourning said Thursday. “If you’ve got something you love and you’re passionate about it’s hard to let that go.”
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