SBN Theme Day presents: Bring a player back! Here's the idea: Take the current roster, and we get to add one player in franchise history in his prime to add to this roster.
There's lots of ideas that could permeate discussion, but the truth sits in looking at this roster. There's only a few areas of true weakness. We could consider bringing back someone like Glen Rice, coming off the bench and filling Battier and Allen's minutes together. Or we could think about Tim Hardaway taking over point guard and just breaking defenses down with Wade and James on the ends.
But my thought directly goes to the middle. The position Pat Riley so desperately wants to fill, the center. The Heat have been searching for answer for a few years, someone who can play defense, block shots, rebound like crazy and make an open dunk, layup and short jumper. He fell short with Ilgauskas, Dampier, Anthony and Eddy Curry. Chris Andersen is working in spurts and Oden will be the next project.
But there's an answer in the Heat's history that fits too perfect for this position. His name?
With the Heat, Mourning had career averages of 8.1 rebounds per game and 2.7 blocks per game. He is the franchise leader in blocks and offensive rebounds. And he is a fan favorite. Mourning was the player that began to turn this franchise around in the mid 90's.
Mourning played for the Heat for 11 seasons and won a championship in 2006. He was a defensive player of the year, all-NBA defensive selection multiple times, and a multiple All-Star. In 1999, the lockout season, he averaged over 20 points, 11 rebounds and nearly 4 blocks per game. Now, Mourning works with player development within the Heat's organization.
Mourning would be nearly exactly what the Heat need. Someone to control the paint, but fast enough to rotate and guard a few positions. Remember, in his prime, Mourning was the best defender in the NBA. And if we take the best Mourning available, we have a player who can defend, score, and rebound like the best of them. Mourning not only was a defensive specialist, but he was also a large body who could score. In his prime, Alonzo had put together a steady mid range (8-12 ft.) jumpshot that he could make. He was also good at the hook shot and he had good hands. These are all things that have been absent from a Heat center in recent years.
Adding that alongside Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade would be deadly. Heck, we have even joked that Mourning right now could give the Heat something beneficial, and in his prime - Mourning would make the Heat really hard to beat. Now, if everyone got to do this, I'm not so sure the Heat are favorites. Adding Michael Jordan with Derrick Rose, Barkley to the Rockets, Gary Payton to the Thunder? Who knows who ends up on top? But it's fun to think about.
Take a minute to remember the prime days of Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway.
What do you think?
Would be your choice as the player to bring back and add to this current roster?