Friday, October 22nd, 2010 at 12:45 pm  |  76 responses

The Sadness That is Adam Morrison

The Charlotte Observer attempts to make sense of Morrison’s career, following his release by the Washington Wizards: “Morrison was waived by the Washington Wizards this week. That followed several years when his presence on the Los Angeles Lakers was due only to a sizeable guarantee. Obviously the Bobcats made the original mistake of drafting him third overall, when Brandon Roy and Rudy Gay were still available. But to me, the turning point for Morrison happened after his rookie season and after he’d recovered from his knee injury. It was that half-season playing for Larry Brown, when he seemed so scared to shoot. He was so hyper-conscious of the town’s expectations that he played dramatically worse at home than on the road (not that he was playing well on the road). One night Brown put him in a game, and every time the ball hit Morrison’s hands, he’d immediately pass it, like it was made of Plutonium. After that game, Brown posed this question: How could he play Morrison — a guy whose only real skill was as a scorer — if he refused to shoot? Sometime around then, Brown asked Morrison how he couldn’t have grasped the attention that being the No. 3 overall pick entails. Basically, Morrison wanted to collect that huge salary and never experience the expectations that went with it.”

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS

Tags: , , , ,

  • chazz michael michaels

    he’s done. that’s all there is to it.

  • The Philosopher

    Larry Brown can have that effect on people.
    As for Morrison, I probably won’t pull the race card with his whole story. (even though I just did)

  • http://google c_cantrell

    this dude has been a joke in the nba

  • JTaylor

    Being a BUST is so easy a caveman could do it.

  • http://www.boogiewilliams.com Boing Dynasty

    This guy should hang out with Josh Boone.

  • hoodsnake

    I admire Morrison for making it this far as a diabetic. If I get hypoglycemic at work I feel like I’m dying. And I sit in a chair the whole day

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    Jay Cutler has made it a lot farther as a diabetic.

  • hillbilly

    On the positive tip, I heard he’s locked up the lead role in an upcoming biopic about Charles Manson entitled, “Is it hot in here, or am I just crazy?”.

  • johnny c

    cosign every last word of that hoodsnake. me too

  • Nigel

    He should totally team up with Seth Rogen and pursue his career in pot humor movies. He would fit right with the Rogen/Franco/Cera/Hill group.

  • Detroit Dave

    He will go to Europe and continue making 6 figures a year to play basketball. In my opinion he still wins. I mean he could be unemployed and living in Detroit.

  • unrel

    a euro league might be a good move for him, actually..

  • Jumper

    I remember seeing him on the cover of some college ball video game and thinking, “Who the eff is that”.

    I had the same reaction when reading the headline of this post.

  • iheartcoffee

    Yeah he’ll go to Europe and probably be alright.

  • http://Www.slamonline.com B-more Mike

    But he got 2 rings!!! Sike, get his a$$ outta here.

  • Russ M

    Morrison’s lack of success in the NBA is an example of something I bring up all the time when discussing ball with my friends. Those guys receive so much praise for the incredible athletic things that they do on a nightly basis, but what they’re doing on the mental end of it is rarely discussed. What I’m talking about is the ability to maintain focus without being distracted by the fact that there’s 20,000 people in the stands, a couple of million more watching on TV, playoff births possibly on the line, and so on and so on. Every playground has got some guy who can drop 20 jumpers in a row from the top of the key. But how many of those gUys could do it with a couple of million people watching? VERY FEW. I feel, and I could be wrong, that having the ability to perform under that kind of pressure is in your genes. Similarly to the ability to run fast, or jump high. Either you’ve got it, or you don’t. As for Morrison, it appears that there’s a strong possibility that he just doesn’t have it. I wouldn’t be one bit suprised if as I write this he’s playing pick up ball with his friends and he just dropped his 20th jumper from the top of the key.

  • drdunkenstein

    What a shame. He got buckets in college. At the time, thought I was watching the next Bird. Guess not.

  • vtrobot

    his mustache was writing checks that his skills/balls couldn’t cover.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    I knew he would be nothing in the nba, couldnt believe he got drafted so high, but thats mike, haha. I wonder if cha didnt have that pick, how far he would have dropped.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    you dumbfu(ks must think europe is amateur hour..you still have to be a decent athlete to play there, hes not that.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    and MJ is a bad GM…as bad as it gets

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    I think its really an effort and drive issue here…we all know he’s got talent. A 6’9″ who can shoot the rock with consistency out to 25 ft who has ANY semblance of determination has a roster spot, if not a starting spot, in this league. You can’t tell me a guy like Vladimir Radmonovic is more talented than he is…its all about drive here and apparently Adam just doesn’t have it…maybe he can find a spot and flourish overseas somewhere

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    @Russ M couldn’t say it better myself. If talent/athleticism meant you could make it in the league, we would all have some clue where Gerald Green is right now…

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/nba/features/overdribbling chiqo

    is there any truth to the reports saying that morrison laid on the wizards’ locker room floor and bawled after they told him he was getting cut?

  • Aaron

    MJ should’ve known better after watching him mentally breakdown before the game was over against UCLA in the tourney – he just doesn’t have a killer instinct and he’s a bit too thin-skinned for the L. Europe would probably suit him well. I wish him luck.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Russ M.
    Great comment, although I disagree with your main thesis.
    I think that genetics can play a role, but it’s also about practice and having success. That’s why you see it suddenly click for some guys, and you also see guys who have been great suddenly lose everything. They slipped up in their confidence or in their preparation.
    I don’t think it’s genetic for the most part, i think it’s mostly learned.

  • http://slamonline.com mike

    @The Philosopher – That’s an ignorant statement.

  • http://counterkicks.com Q

    yeah props from a fellow diabetic, it really sucks he tore his acl though i thought he was doin alright his rookie year

  • http://www.twitter.com/notebooknick NotebookNick

    At least he left the game with a couple of ships.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Black rick, vlad rad is way more talented than this chump. Vlad is more athletic, can dribble and drive better. Much better rebounder. And a better defender, tho vlads isnt a good defender, hes better than this scrub. Dude could literally do nothing other than shoot. I saw his ceiling as kapono. ………… ….. ….. ………….Blaznsaddleslesbo, europe is amateur hour.

  • lazaruz

    respect ammo for making it to the best league in the world with diabetes. saying this, i dont think his mindset was ther for the nba.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    tarzam cooper, ya mamma doesnt think so…and well fare is calling for your computer ou ignorant punk, poor bit(h!!!

  • http://www.google.com ryan

    im pretty sure adam isnt sad at all considering he made 10 million dollars while riding the bench his whole career. if anything, he is the one who gets the last laugh.

  • phillip schmuck

    I feel for Ammo and that 20 MILLION!!! he has been paid the last 4 years.

  • Jake

    10 bucks says he will go overseas and do well due to the lack of media coverage.

  • JBH

    Morrison shouldn’t have been drafted at the spot he was but he probably could’ve developed into a 10-15 PPG spot-up shooter had he not got injured. He was already unathletic in comparison to the rest of the league, after the ACL tear he lost another step, one that he couldn’t really afford to, he had no athleticism to spare. Combined with next to no playing time on the Lakers, he never really had much of a chance. Plus it seems like his psyche got demolished in the whole process. I was reading a forum and someone described the Morrison situation well:

    “When he was in college, he wasnt the best ball handler, defender, post player or anything. But he had this mentality that he was gonna put his head down and grit his teeth and no one was gonna stop him. As soon as he lost that, it was over for him.”

    Tis a dark day to be an Ammo fan. I just wish we would’ve got to seen him play his sophomore year in the NBA. The first half of his rookie season he was averaging 15-16 PPG, he fell off after that and the percentages were never great but I think he had more than what we saw.

  • Johnny rooks


  • flash

    why not come to miami? replace mike miller for the moment while he’s injured

  • w

    you know whats the sad thing? He was rated the #1 guy in college, being compared to larry bird. after that it was brandon roy, and JJ reddick. Not much people believed in reddick (no reach, small for a shooting guard, no hops, and not enough ballhandleing skills for a point guard) and reddick actually succedded into a solid starter who nails threes, while morrison isnt doing anything. sad to see morrison drafted before both of them

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Sure, cause there’s no expectations in Miami… But seriously, it sucks that Morrison never recovered from the UCLA loss really. I was hoping he could stick around in Washington and help Wall develop, but the dude can barely crack a roster. If he loves the game he should just play D-League and hopefully prove he is worth taking a gamble on again.

  • Ronald

    I think he needs a sports therapist more than anything.

  • http://google c_cantrell

    dude are u drunk or high or somethin? that comment is the craziest thing i think iv ever read on this site lol

  • yea

    Guess who’s got more rings than LeBron ? :D

  • youngmuggsy

    I feel sorry for the guy, he came into the league so confident and charismatic and now he seems so reserved and depressed in all of his interviews. The weight of expectations has completely killed his spirit.

  • hushabomb

    He needs to get on a team with a decent PG (I honestly think TWolves or Jazz would be good picks in that the Jazz have a good PG and Twolves run the same system as the Lakers. He’d be a 6’8″ Steve Kerr)

    That is if he still loves the game…..

  • http://google c_cantrell

    i actually think the kid would be a good fit on the jazz

  • kev

    I said this kid wasn’t good when he was still in college. The nba talent evaluators aren’t any better than the average person on this site.

  • dawn

    Hows about Ammo to the Heat? , Miller is out anyway

  • http://www.threadsandkicks.com.au/ Eduardo

    maybe if he goes’ to the d-league he will improve. knicks should take him, they should take anyone they can get.

  • Steven

    It ain’t over ’till the fat lady sings…And that fat lady is Adam giving up. Getting cut from the Wizards is not the end of his career.

  • Russ M

    I said that I may be wrong when I wrote that, but I wss just trying to point out something I’ve witnessed going all the way back to when I played high school ball, or even in just a summer tournaments. We’ve all seen the kid who kills in the meaningless pick-up games but on the high school court in front of a packed gym becomes half the player that he is in the park. Why does one kid win the battle of the nerves and the next one lose it? Or how about the special ones who thrive under the pressure and seem to get even better as a result of it!? By suggesting that it may just be in the genes was just a theory to try and explain why some are overcome by the pressure, and some are not.
    Disagreeing with me is all cool. But coming at me disrespectfully ain’t necessary.

  • http://slamonline.com LAKERSLEGEND

    hey atleast he got paid and had front row laker seats n watched kobe ball n got a few rings for doing nothing..not a bad way to go out for a bust

  • Etheknickfan

    Russ I coached in a 11-13 youth league, recruited this streetpark hotshot to my team, first game of the REC LEAGUE tourney this kid walks into the gym, sees about 30 people(mostly parents n grandmas)and he freaks out! Total meltdown. Had never seen anything like it before or ever again and I worked in a psyche ward. Kid was shaking n flopping around bawling.

  • http://www.lakers.com CommissionerPalpatine

    Nice Draft Choice MJ!

  • ionmic

    Adam Morrison is a very skilled basketball player. hes just not that athletic and tried to play in a league where athleticism trumps skill every time.

    Kid needs to go to europe and destroy Euroleague and become europes larry bird. There will never be another larry bird cos Bird never had the athleticism to hang in todays L.

  • http://www.twiter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    @Etheknickfan That kid was just a weirdo.

    The college game really masks a guys weaknesses. If you can shoot an open jumpshot, a good college coach can make you a 20point scorer by running the right plays.
    @Russ M Morrisons case has nothing to do with stagefright, he played Div 1 college basketball! I’m sure he’s played NCAA games in front of way more excited basketball fans than you would find at the Bobcats arena. He just doesn’t have the intangibles to do something other than shoot while he makes a name for himself in the league. I guarantee you that if Morrison came in the league and had 15 plays run for him every game from the start, he’d be a much better player because that confidence would have grown and grown

    JJ Reddick is a perfect comparison. He killed at Duke, but wasn’t getting playing time or shots once he got to Orlando. BUT he’s a competitor and he worked on his defense and passing and ballhandling and made plays with the little time he got. The whole time he kept his jumper sharp. Now he gets consistent minutes and is contributing and he won’t hesitate to take a big shot because he knows he won’t get yanked.

  • Readywriter1

    Its a truth that the ultimate success or failure of any individual in any individual pursuit is ultimately up to the individual and how he handles the individual challenges/obstacles that are hurled his way. That being said, I have to ask why no one has commented on the unrealistic expectation that was put on yet another otherwise solid player by (The greatest ever) drafting them too high. I often ask the question if we would consider Kwame Brown, Okafour and now Morrison underachievers if Jordan or some other GM had drafted them in the 2nd round? (Humm… I don’t know…I’m just askin’). And before someone reads this and thinks I’m another Jordan Hater- stop it. For the record, in my mind MJ was, is and will always be “That Dude!”, but i pray he’s a better owner than GM.

  • Russ M

    Good point. If Morrison killed, and he did, playing D1 ball, including alot of big games being televised to millions, it would be hard to attribute is lack of success in the league to “stage fright”. U right

  • mattywalker

    Unfortunately, Adam genetically inherited a low amount of nuerotransmitters that when in abundance will give you confidence. This is science–this is fact. People with anxiety will literally freeze up when under pressure. Weed will only help in the short term. Adam, you need to get on some good anit-depressants or some natural supplements. Europe would be a good thing. C’mon, you still want to play and compete–you didn’t do it for the money. Stop sulking. Ignore the press & go out and do what you love!

    “he just doesn’t have a killer instinct and he’s a bit too thin-skinned”

    “I dont think his mindset was ther for the nba”

    “Why does one kid win the battle of the nerves and the next one lose it? Or how about the special ones who thrive under the pressure and seem to get even better as a result of it?”

  • mattywalker

    Unfortunately, Adam genetically inherited a low amount of nuerotransmitters that when in abundance will give you confidence. This is science–this is fact. People with anxiety will literally freeze up when under pressure. Weed will only help in the short term. Adam, you need to get on some good anit-depressants or some natural supplements. Europe would be a good thing. C’mon, you still want to play and compete–you didn’t do it for the money. Stop sulking. Ignore the press & go out and do what you love!

    “he just doesn’t have a killer instinct and he’s a bit too thin-skinned”

    “I dont think his mindset was ther for the nba”

    “Why does one kid win the battle of the nerves and the next one lose it? Or how about the special ones who thrive under the pressure and seem to get even better as a result of it?”

  • mattywalker


    Morrisons problems have EVERYTHING to do with stagefright.
    Hmm, lets see. Looks down when he speaks, avoids eye contact, often has hair covering his eyes…the guy is shy and introverted. People like this often suffer from anxiety and or depression. Doesn’t take a shrink to know that 90% of his problems are from a lack of confidence. At Gonzaga he was surrounded by his home town along with friends and a town that loved him. The expectations of his draft pick & hte NBA were overwhelming. He probably wants to “hang ‘er up” to get out of the spotlight. He wants some peace. I hope he goes to Europe and plays the game he loves and maybe gets soem confidence back.

  • Sanman

    Leave NBA and go play in Europe.

  • http://NBA DW

    I would suspect the people writing this garbage never played a minute in any sport and if they did it was at the end of the game and they were at the end of the bench. Kid played well in college just was not cut out to play pro. Compare your record with his you sit in front of a TV and drink cheap beer he’s at the arena watching from the floor.

  • Steven

    Its ironic that Adam Morrison was drafted for the “intangibles” he could bring and it was “intangibles” that people suspect led to his early demise as an NBA player.

  • skd

    thats revisionist history about jj, dude was almost waived and was being shopped. He vastly improved his game, but it def wasnt because they were running plays for him.

  • Steven

    This just goes to show how good you have to be to succeed at the NBA level. Appreciate the successful players and STOP BASHING THOSE WHO ARE NOT.

    P.S. I wouldn’t stick a fork in Adam just yet.

  • LL Baker

    I watched Adam Morrison during his college years. He excelled because somebody–Mark Few–believed in him. He’s been treated so poorly by what I used to consider sport fans. I still follow his career, and I hope he revives his inherent basketball and life skills.

  • Ash

    Any Zag fan, or most people in Spokane WA know the LEGEND Adam Morrison. This guy oozed charisma, and would regularly piss all over the competition just by sheer will of mind. He was a legend as a high school player, and found a perfect place as a college player. His professional career tanked, imo, because of bad situations, injury, and a constant barrage of brow beating a person like him attracts. This guy just needs confidence and he will succeed. Sadly it seems, his success in life may not be that of a professional BB player. As a fan, I’m bummed about his situation, because as an athlete this guy was terrific entertainment, something all U haters either forgot, or never knew in the first place…

  • Christopher

    Larry Brown is tough and he shouldn’t have been drafted that high. Expectations were too much. He would’ve been good coming of the bench perhaps. His confidence was crushed and he never recovered. Reminds me of Joey Harrington in that regard.

  • alexs

    he’ll have a good career if he does join prokom

  • http://slam-online.com curt

    Gonzaga has only produced one top NBA player and that was before Mark Few began coaching. Calvary, Denkau, Turioff, Morrison all were unprepared for the NBA. Turioff is still in the league but he plays 10 minutes a game.

  • tiger

    Jimmer Fredette is the next Adam Morrison. If anybody drafts him early in the 1st round they’ll be sorry.

  • Ta da

    Adam Morrison ripped through competition on the high school level. A-mo was the best college best player in the country his last year at gonzaga. As a freshman he came in his first game at MSG (Madison square garden for those none ball fans) against what would become the number one team in the country, st. Joes (with jameer Nelson and delonte west in there back court) and put up a solid 15 points. He averaged 11 points that season with a very talented zags team that only fell in regukar season to st joes and standford (both ranked 1 that year). In his final yr as a zag He proved in Maui he could score and he proved the rest of the season that he was a winner. Not one single person in the country could stop him from scoring. This was apparent when the zags went head to head against in state rival Washington (then had Brandon Roy) and a mo still went for forty. Wha was a fairly weak draft class Adams skills did not transfer to the NBA Level. Why? We don’t know. MJ cursed as a owner, doubtful. Larry brown as a defensive minded coach, maybe. The awful bobcats where Morrison was expected to do so much, probably. He would have probably been great offnthe bench in the first season as a sixth man scorer, not as a superstar having to gaurd lebron at the 3. National runner up poy jj red dick turned out to be a fine scorer off the bench. What he did at gonzaga was unbelievable on perhaps the best zag team ever, and the won’t be forgotten a mo

  • Rider51

    Time, and the lockout may be his ally, as people will slowly forget past expectations. Plus, he’s only 26. He should cut his hair, shave the ‘stash, and could sign a veterans minimum contract, coming off the bench for some team and score some. There’s no reason to think the guy can’t still shoot. IF he’s healthy.

  • Jim Kalb

    Always been a fan of Adam Morrison since he came in to the NBA. Hope he gets back into basketball if that is what he wants to do. The way they play that outside catch and shoot game in the NBA seems to be made for him. He does not have to start but just come in and spark the offense from time to time by hitting some 3′s. He would have been good on that 2nd team of the Lakers but they never used him.


    Morrison could be good in the nba now, hes tearing it up in europe and if he went to a bad team like my team the nets, I think he could be good, no one’s watching the nets and he could generate some buzz if he plays well, kinda like lin it wouldn’t be too expensive, just give him like a two week contract and see what hes got…what do you have to lose,