Mourning's Season, Career Possibly Over

Knicks fans outside Madison Square Garden want Coach Isiah Thomas fired.
Knicks fans outside Madison Square Garden want Coach Isiah Thomas fired. (By Seth Wenig -- Associated Press)
Thursday, December 20, 2007

Alonzo Mourning refused to leave what might have been the last game of his career on a stretcher.

After tearing the patellar tendon in his right knee during Miami's game in Atlanta last night, the 37-year-old Heat center was placed on the stretcher, but he refused the ride.

"That's not the way I envisioned myself walking off the court for the last time in my career," he said. "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."

Mourning already has said there is "zero chance" of playing another season.

"We tried to help him up and he just said, 'It's over, it's over,' " Miami's Udonis Haslem said.

Mourning is in his 15th year in the NBA, including 11 with Miami.

Mourning was hurt when attempting to defend the basket on a layup by Atlanta's Mario West. Replays showed Mourning's knee buckling without contact from West as Mourning was about to jump.

Mourning is a seven-time all-star and two-time defensive player of the year.

His 15 years in the league do not include a full year he missed because of kidney problems that led to him getting a transplant in 2003.

¿ 'FIRE ISIAH': Knicks fans angry over the team's losing streak rallied outside Madison Square Garden, holding aloft a giant pink slip and calling on management to fire Coach Isiah Thomas.

Thomas has been hounded by bad publicity and calls from fans to quit since October, when fired team executive Anucha Browne Sanders won a sexual harassment lawsuit against the coach and the Garden. Just before the case was to return to court to decide compensatory damages, the lawsuit was settled for $11.5 million.

The Knicks haven't won a playoff game since Thomas joined the team in 2003.

¿ RATLIFF SURGERY: Timberwolves C Theo Ratliff had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, and his recovery is expected to keep him out for another six weeks.

-- From News Services

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