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October 18, 2009

New team, same plight for Morrison

Ever-acerbic Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson was asked Saturday whether Adam Morrison's confidence had to be restored, following his time as a Charlotte Bobcat.

"Yes, he's like a wounded dog,'' Jackson joked. "We really had to take care of him -- feed him right. He looks much better now.''

A nurturer, Jackson isn't. Morrison wasn't playing as a Bobcat and, barring injuries, doesn't figure to play much this season as a Laker. As Morrison described, his team is "loaded,'' particularly at his small-forward position.

The Lakers' major off-season deal was adding Ron Artest, who plays Morrison's spot. So does Luke Walton and obviously Kobe Bryant can slide over to small forward effectively. So there might not be much chance for Morrison to spruce up his resume before reaching free-agency following this season.

For now he's collecting a $5.2 million salary -- the last year of his rookie contract, based on the Bobcats choosing him third overall in 2006 -- and hoping his luck changes.

“I still haven’t sold my house in Charlotte so I’m renting here,'' Morrison said before playing against his old team Saturday. "You don’t know (how this will work out) and it’s expensive to buy here.''

The Lakers have Artest and Walton signed beyond this season and are looking to trim payroll, so it seems unlikely he'd get much of an offer to stay. What's Morrison's sense of free-agency?

“Who knows?'' Morrison said. "All depends on whether I play this year – that’s what it boils down to. I worked hard this summer and hopefully I’ll have a good year here.’’

He looked about the same as a Laker as you'd recall him as a Bobcat -- a fair shooter and a relatively poor athlete by NBA standards. Jackson said it's taken Morrison time to absorb the triangle offense, because there are so many options to read off the opposing defense. 

Posted by Observer Sports on October 18, 2009 at 06:23 PM | Permalink

Comments

i still have this gut feeling that if ever given the opportunity he could be a 25+ a game scorer. he's just a good basketball player. even last year, he would have streaks where even if he wasn't taken shots, he was still playing good basketball. if he never got injured, we're never talking about what a bust he is. its going to be interesting to see what happens with him next year....new york might be a great fit for him. ironically, he and raja bell are shooting the ball about the same.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 18, 2009 9:57:31 PM

Except that Raja Bell plays defense. Morrison couldn't guard a middle schooler.

Posted by: RP | Oct 18, 2009 10:16:54 PM

As an NBA player, Morrison has a nice feel for good offensive ball movement, but that's about all he has. He can't create shots. He's terribly inconsistent as a spot up shooter. And those are his strengths. I tried to see the glimmers of hope in his game for a long time. But I've almost given up.

Prove me wrong, Adam.

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Oct 18, 2009 10:39:55 PM

No worries on Morrison. He's 25 years old and if he had some good conservative advisors, he should have $5mm in the bank (after taxes) once this year is over from his 4 year career.

He can live very comfortably on his investment income, go back and finish his last year @ Gonzaga and get on with a second career - and not really have to worry about money.

the situation could be a lot worse....most all would envy his situation.

Posted by: bobfan1 | Oct 18, 2009 11:00:22 PM

You know, I feel like this is in one of those spots where he has been blackballed as a defensive liabilty and not given a chance. He is A SCORER, BOTTOM LINE. He cant play D, No Stuff, we all know that. But give the opportunity, the guy will Light It up

Posted by: spockjohnson | Oct 19, 2009 12:03:01 AM

Adam:

Maybe you can move to Cuba with your good friend Castro. Folks in La La Land may not take exception to your fascination with Che Guevara.

Posted by: David Miller | Oct 19, 2009 8:05:48 AM

the type of player he is......you can't judge his play when he's on the floor for 3 or 4 minutes at a time. the guy needs playing time and touches to be effective. i remember he had a 3 game stretch last year of like 15 or 16 points off the bench in like 20 minutes of play and like 10 shots a game. then he was outta the rotation for a week. i trust larry brown as a great head coach but thats hard to stomach. and for the fella saying he couldn't create his own shot......run back some game film of his rookie year and explain to me who was creating his shots on those nights he got hot?

i don't care what you say....12 ppg as a rookie on a bad team for a bad coach isn't a bust. he never got a real opportunity after that because of the injury. a smart GM for a houston or NY or NYJ, or new orleans or somebody would take a chance on the guy. show me the number of guys that scored 30 points or more in a game as a rookie. its not a long list. show me how many were coached by bickerstaff and surrounded by guys like primoz brezec and melvin ely.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 19, 2009 10:27:45 AM

Rick, Morrison had one of the worst shooting percentages in the league each year he was with the Bobcats. It's inaccurate to label him as a "fair" shooter. He was literally one of the worst in the entire NBA.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/statistics?stat=nbafgpct&league=e&split=0&sort=fg%&avg=none&qual=true&season=2007&seasontype=2&pos=sf

Posted by: Bannon | Oct 19, 2009 1:51:08 PM

Charlottean, I was there for some of those nights Morrison scored a lot--cheering him on. There's a difference between creating some shots because you're a fresh top 3 pick given every opportunity to jack it up because you're playing for the coach that drafted you.....and actually creating shots CONSISTENTLY night in night out after teams have figured out your strengths and weaknesses. Morrison never did the latter. 12 points a game is nice. But he was given every opportunity to score those twelve points with tons of shots that went in too infrequently. FG% matters. Points-per-shot attempt matters.

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Oct 19, 2009 3:37:07 PM

he was a rookie. 12 ppg is far from a bust as a rookie. run me kobe's numbers as a rookie. jermaine oneal. kevin garnett. greg oden. gerald wallace. come on be realistic.

last year the guy was trying to find his role and i don't think brown had any intention of helping him do so the whole year. to get consistent production from a guy you have to give him consistent playing time and that wasn't given. half his shots last year, he was substituted cold off the bench to shoot a buzzer beater before the end of a quarter. you can't expect good results % wise in that situation. you can't.

he's proven enough on film to show that he can play and dominate games at this level, its just gonna take somebody to have faith in the guy to let him do it and prove it to everybody else that he can do it night in night out.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 20, 2009 10:25:59 AM

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