Adam Morrison Ready to Resurrect Career With Wizards
There are some who suggest Adam Morrison, who didn't play an NBA Finals picosecond during either of the Lakers' last two title seasons, didn't deserve being fitted for rings. Morrison doesn't necessarily disagree.
"Maybe I'll sell them someday,'' the Washington swingman said in an interview with FanHouse before Tuesday's 97-94 win over Dallas at the American Airlines Center. "Everybody asks me the same question: Are they (the rings) even worth me having?''
Collectors, though, need not rush to get online. Morrison then was asked if he would consider selling the rings any time soon.
"No,'' Morrison said. "I'm just saying everybody views me not deservable.''
But there's apparently still time for Morrison, the No. 3 pick in the 2006 draft by Charlotte, to resurrect his career. Morrison is in Wizards camp on a non-guaranteed contract.
One supposes the good news for Morrison is Washington coach Flip Saunders says he has a reasonable chance to make the team. The Wizards have just 12 players with guaranteed contracts.
"We have a couple of spots, and he's getting his legs under him,'' said Saunders, who didn't use Morrison in Tuesday's game. "If he continues to play, he'll have a good shot.''
The bad news for Morrison is wondering how this all happened just four years after he led the nation in scoring at Gonzaga. He had a reasonable rookie season in 2006-07, averaging 11.8 points although shooting just 37.6 percent. But he tore an ACL in the preseason in October 2007 and missed all of his second season.
Morrison averaged just 4.5 points in 44 games for the Bobcats in 2008-09, and then was traded to the Lakers in February 2009. That led to 1 ½ years of barely leaving the bench.
"I missed the whole season,'' Morrison said of 2007-08. "Then I got traded halfway through the comeback season to the best team. So people just think I didn't play on a bad team or something. I did get hurt.''
Morrison said it was "tough to get an opportunity'' with the Lakers but that his "time there was great'' and he "had fun.'' But he doesn't believe it's fully understood why he couldn't get any time after having been such a high draft pick.
"I led the nation in scoring,'' Morrison said. "I had a good college career. So I understood why I got picked so high. I just had a weird deal. I got traded to a team that had really good players at my position. Not just good players, Hall of Famer, legend (Kobe Bryant) and Ron Artest. It wasn't like guys on the bench were playing 20 to 30 minutes. ... Everybody looks at it like I was -- I guess I was the lone guy (on the Lakers who almost never played) -- like I was playing for a CBA team (and couldn't get off the bench).''
After getting into just eight Lakers games in 2008-09 following his trade from Charlotte, Morrison played in 31 last season, mostly during garbage time. He got in during the waning minutes of a pair of lopsided games in a first-round series against Oklahoma City last April, his only playoff action is his two Lakers seasons.
Then came the offseason. He got no offers for a guaranteed contract, something he called "very tough.''
"Obviously, the money is not there,'' Morrison said of signing a non-guaranteed deal worth $915,852 after having made $5.26 million last season. "That's the biggest (difference). There's probably 50 or 60 less jobs in the NBA this year. So I'm not the only ... player not getting a (guaranteed) contract.''
Morrison amended that to say that last season in the NBA was similar. But he said the bottom line now is "teams not wanting to carry 15'' players due to the economy.
There's hope for Morrison he at least can make the opening-night roster. But while he was pleased to hear Saunders offer a vote of confidence, he's not getting overly optimistic about his future.
"I guess so,'' Morrison said when asked if he's still young at 26 and there still being time to resurrect his career. "We'll see.''
If Morrison does make the rebuilding Wizards, at least he won't have to ponder whether to sell a third straight title ring.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @christomasson