Charlotte Hornets: 15 greatest scorers of all-time

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/ NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/ NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Alonzo Mourning, Charlotte Hornets
(Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images) /

170. . C. (1992-95). Alonzo Mourning. 5. player

  • 21.3 PPG, 4,569 points, 3 seasons
  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (Class of 2014)
  • 2x NBA All-Star w/Hornets (1994-95)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (1993)

Alonzo Mourning is one of the greatest players in Georgetown Hoyas history, as well as one of the best centers of his generation. Charlotte used its No. 2 overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft to select him as its franchise center. Though he only played in Charlotte for a few years, Mourning remains a fan favorite and for good reason.

Mourning was a difference maker right away for the Hornets. As a rookie in 1992-93, he made the All-Rookie First Team, as he averaged 21.0 points per game on 51.1 percent shooting in 78 games, which included 78 starts.

By year two in the league, Mourning became a perennial All-Star. His 1992-93 campaign saw him make his first of seven career NBA All-Star Games, as he averaged 21.5 points per game on 50.5 percent shooting. Charlotte would make the Eastern Conference Playoffs that season, leading to Mourning’s greatest moment as a player. This is also the greatest moment in Hornets history.

Charlotte was matched up with the Boston Celtics in the first round. With less than four seconds on the clock, Mourning hit the biggest shot in Charlotte basketball history to defeat the Celtics 104-103 to advance to the conference semifinals. Essentially, Mourning’s 20-footer ended Celtics center Kevin McHale’s illustrious Basketball Hall of Fame career.

Mourning played one more season with the Hornets in 1993-94. That third and final season in Charlotte saw him average 21.3 points per game on 51.9 percent shooting. Charlotte made the Eastern Conference Playoffs again, but failed to advance to round two this time.

Sadly, Mourning was traded to the Miami Heat in a package deal that sent sharpshooter Glen Rice to the Queen City. This came about after Mourning had rejected the Hornets’ offer at a long-term extension. Friction with power forward and fellow All-Star Larry Johnson was largely a reason for that. In total, Mourning made his first two NBA All-Star teams in Hornets uniform, as he averaged 21.3 points per game on 51.2 percent shooting.

Mourning might have finished with a strong 4,569 career points in Hornets uniform, but he was just getting started in his illustrious NBA career. With Miami, Mourning would play 11 seasons with the Heat over two stints. He had a two-year stretch with the then-New Jersey Nets sandwiched in between, as well as a year out of the league with a life-threatening kidney disease.

Mourning did win his NBA championship as a member of the 2005-06 Heat, but that team was all about Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal. Overall, Mourning’s body of work and dominance in the low post on both ends of the floor had him as a Basketball Hall of Fame level player, earning enshrinement in 2014. Mourning might have retired in 2008 as a member of the Heat, but nobody can forget the start to his career in Charlotte, or the famous shot he hit in the 1993 NBA playoffs to beat the Celtics.