- NBA legend Alonzo Mourning has become one of the most ubiquitous memes on the internet thanks to a clip of him from 2006 that has gone viral.
- During Miami’s season opener in 2006, Mourning and the reigning champion Heat trailed the Chicago Bulls by 30 points in the fourth quarter of the game.
- The camera caught Mourning shaking his head in dismay and then slowly nodding, seemingly coming to terms with his team’s situation.
- The video has become a popular reaction gif on social media.
- In discussing the GuardianLife-sponsored HORSE shootout with a CUNY basketball player with a disability he participated in last week, Mourning reminisced about his mindset at that moment from 2006 that has since gone viral.
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Alonzo Mourning is undoubtedly an NBA legend. But among young people and internet savvy folks, he may be more famous for his starring role in a popular meme.
Mourning and the reigning champion Miami Heat were trailing the Chicago Bulls by 30 points in the fourth quarter of their 2006-2007 season opener when the cameras caught the eventual Hall of Famer in a somewhat compromised state. His jaw clenched, Mourning shook his head in dismay and frustration before slowly nodding, seemingly coming to terms with his team’s unfortunate start to the year.
The internet has co-opted the clip into a meme used to express reluctant acceptance of something frustrating or confusing.
— #RingerNBA (@ringernba) February 8, 2019
And even though he isn’t personally on social media, Mourning has taken notice.
“I have gotten asked about that gif a lot,” Mourning told Business Insider. “It is very funny. It’s hilarious to sit back and watch.”
Last week, Mourning participated in a GuardianLife-sponsored HORSE shootout with a CUNY basketball player with a disability. In discussing his past health struggles – he had a kidney replacement at the prime of his career – and how “disability is not inability,” Mourning reminisced about his mindset at that moment from 2006 that has since gone viral.
“I’d like to think I was actually talking to myself,” Mourning said. “It was actually kind of comical to see myself.”
During the game in question, with his team trailing by 30, Mourning scored just one point and pulled in a meager two rebounds in 15 minutes on the floor.
“Did you see the score?” Mourning asked. “If you look at the score of the game, you can see why I had that facial expression. I’m somebody that hates to lose. I don’t like to lose in anything. Anything.”
Given his overwhelming talent and competitive drive, it’s no wonder he enjoyed such an illustrious playing career. For those unfamiliar with Mourning’s achievements, the 6-foot-10 big man earned seven NBA All-Star appearances and an NBA championship in his 16-year career. He was twice named the NBA’s defensive player of the year and, in those years, led the entire league in blocked shots. The Miami Heat, with whom he spent 11 years and won the 2006 NBA Finals, retired his No. 33 jersey in 2009.
Today, Mourning spends his time as Vice President of Player Programs and Development for the Heat. He also does considerable charity work with both financially unprivileged and disabled communities.
And, of course, he moonlights as the star of the greatest NBA-based meme of all time.
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