Alonzo Mourning Gave The Backstory Behind His Iconic Head-Shaking GIF

Alonzo Mourning had a Hall of Fame NBA career that spanned 16 seasons and one championship in 2006 with the Miami Heat, the team he was long the heart and soul of. Mourning’s toughness on the court was never in question and he battled back from needing a kidney transplant to finish his career as he wanted, with the Heat and helping them win a title.

However, for many, particularly in the younger generation, the Hall of Famer is simply “the head-shaking GIF guy,” as his lasting image is one of the internet’s most ubiquitous memes, sitting on the bench in a 30-point blowout at the hands of the Chicago Bulls, shaking his head before a knowing nod.


Mourning recently sat down with the great Trill Withers in the NBA Legends Lounge and was asked about his place in internet lore, and while he couldn’t recall exactly what that moment of realization captured in the GIF was, he very much remembers the Heat getting beat badly in that game by the Bulls and just recognizing “it is what it is.”

It’s a moment that, for a long time, Mourning probably hadn’t thought of until it became one of the internet’s favorite memes, as in that three seconds he expresses a feeling that everyone has sometimes where something’s gone terribly wrong and there’s nothing you can do but accept it.