He once was the well-paid superstar, the big man upon whom the Miami Heat placed its championship weight. Then came kidney disease, and Alonzo Mourning was gone, only to return last season as a backup to the new big man upon whom.... Thank goodness. With Shaq falling out late last season and spraining an ankle at the beginning of this year in the home opener (boy, he sure is fragile for such a large guy), the Heat would have been lost sans Zo. He's played excellent basketball without complaining about how he's been treated over the years the tough, ultracompetitive warrior who gets the job done had plenty to bitch about. This week offers two great chances to see Miami in action, tonight at 8:00 against the Dallas Mavericks and Monday, November 28, at 7:30 p.m. against New York's Knicks. The ballers get busy at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Tickets range from $10 to $300. Call 305-577-HEAT, or visit www.heat.com. Greg Baker
Prowling for a Win
This Thanksgiving weekend the Florida Panthers should pray that Santa comes early to stuff their stockings with a victory. At press time the Cats had suffered eleven straight losses, going a full four weeks without a win. Tonight the suffering felines play host to an eighteen-year-old first-year pro who is said to be the next Wayne Gretzky. Pittsburg Penguin center Sidney Crosby, who was the first overall pick in the National Hockey League draft in 2005, is making his first visit to South Florida in a Penguin suit. Catch the young whippersnapper who recorded nine points in his first ten games when the Panthers host the Penquins at 7:30 at the BankAtlantic Center (1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise).
After a Saturday-night game in Atlanta, the Panthers will be back to host the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday, November 28, at 7:00 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $250. Call 954-835-PUCK, or visit www.flpanthers.com. Rick Smith
Thanksgiving is a day to fulfill your overeating fantasies without looking like a barnyard animal. You want to try it all the turkey, the casseroles, the yams with those little marshmallows. Wish you could stuff yourself without adding extra pounds? Avoid the postgobble wobble by signing up for today's Turkey Trot. You can choose the distance, five or ten kilometers, and even the kids can join the stroll. Be at the starting line this morning at 7:30 at Tropical Park, 7900 Bird Rd., Miami. Race-day registration costs $30 for the 10K and $25 for the 5K. Call 786-315-5225, or visit www.runmiami.com. Karen R. Figueiredo