NBA Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning talked on SI Now on Wednesday about the day LeBron James announced he was leaving the Miami Heat to join the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Mourning played 10-plus seasons for the Heat (and 15 total seasons) and currently serves as the team's vice president of player programs. He earned seven All-Star nods and was twice named the Defensive Player of the Year.
[daily_cut.NBA] James joined Miami as a free agent in 2010 and led the team to four consecutive Finals and two championships.
The 30-year-old elected to return to Cleveland, where he spent the first seven seasons of his career, this summer. James announced his decision in a letter published on SI.com.
"Deflating, because nobody expected it," Mourning said of James' departure. "It's unfortunate that it did happen, but that's the business of basketball."
Mourning also addressed James' place in Heat history.
"He's going to go down as one of the greatest players in the history of our organization—by far," Mourning said. "I'm very thankful for the four years that he gave us. If you can ask any player in the league to come and do what he did for the city of Miami, for the organization, for four years, you would take it and be thankful for it.
"You wouldn't expect him to leave afterwards, but you would take those four years and be thankful for it."