"...Chalk (Adam) Morrison up as Michael Jordan's second devastating mistake as a GM. (Land O'Lakers Note: Having already taken on Kwame Brown, L.A. is officially only one Jordan bust short of a free latte.) This time the scene moves to Charlotte, where Jordan had just bought a stake in the Bobcats and was named the team's vice president. The Bobcats were in desperate need of a 2-guard, and (Brandon) Roy looked like the perfect fit. However, Jordan was wowed by Morrison's career at Gonzaga, loved his workout and decided to gamble on the athletically challenged player. The results have been disastrous for Charlotte. Morrison was awful as a rookie. He missed his entire sophomore season with a serious knee injury, then was traded to the Lakers. Meanwhile, Roy has developed into one of the best 2-guards in the game..."
Sounds about right.
Call me a softie, but sometimes this sort of thing makes me feel- relatively speaking, of course- bad for a guy. I can't vouch for his time in Charlotte, but by all accounts since arriving in Los Angeles Morrison has worked hard and tried to resurrect his reputation and career, even spending the offseason in Vegas for Summer League, not something typically done by non-rooks and sophomores. He's a quiet-but-perfectly nice guy. Injuries have played a big role in cementing Morrison's bust status, but in the end the guy just wasn't good enough to be drafted with a #3 pick. It's not like there weren't people at every level who wondered if Morrison lacked the athleticism to create his own shot and defend at the NBA level. (For example, I watched his last NCAA Tournament with one noted talent scout, who wondered aloud exactly how "that awkward guy" was supposed to play against NBA players, and also thought crying on the floor was inappropriate. Tough cookie, my wife.)
Morrison wants to earn his paycheck, and has plenty of professional pride. That's not the issue. He's just not good enough at his job.
What's interesting to me, though, is how much luck and perception play a role in this sort of thing. Obviously he could score with anyone in the college ranks and some thought Morrison had potential (probably none more than M.J., but such people existed). High lottery? Maybe not. Mid-first round? Why not? And if Ammo was picked 10th by a nameless, faceless GM and faded away, nobody would care. As evidence, I give you the constant public outcry over Saer Sene's lack of All Star appearances. A huge percentage of first rounders, even lottery picks, don't pan out.
Instead, Morrison was rather controversially overdrafted by the planet's most iconic basketball figure, adding even more wattage to an already bright light shining down on the draft's #3 pick, a guy who probably didn't have the requisite athleticism to live up to the billing in the first place. And that was before he got hurt.
Again, Morrison and Brown really should meet for coffee. I bet they'd have plenty to talk about.
Nobody should lose sleep over his lot in life. Morrison has earned well over $11 million in the NBA, and will certainly be able to play somewhere next season if he chooses, maybe in the NBA, maybe in Europe. Judging by his personality (and, if nothing else, his wardrobe), Morrison doesn't seem like the kind of guy who has blown through his cash and will find himself broke in a few years. There's still a chance an opportunity comes along this season affording him a chance to prove himself, whether in L.A. or in another city.
I doubt it, but have been wrong before. Even if it doesn't, Morrison should be set for life a few times over. I don't feel pity, just some sympathy.
I see Morrison as a great example of how fate can sometimes work against a guy, professionally speaking. He had a spectacular college career, but will be remembered more for busting out of the NBA, should current form hold. Other guys manage to avoid that stigma. Had Morrison been chosen by a different man in a different year in a more appropriate draft slot, he'd be your run-of-the-mill washout.
Instead, he's fourth on a very unfortunate list.