When the name Adam Morrison is mentioned, right now, the image seared in many minds is that of a floppy-haired, cheesy-moustached kid “crying his eyes out on national television after a shocking loss to UCLA in the NCAA Tournament.
A year from now, however, we might be remembering him hoisting his NBA Rookie of the Year trophy. And looking in our crystal ball even further, might we project down the road that Morrison’s career could come anywhere close to that of his boyhood idol and the player he most tries to pattern his game after — Larry Bird? Now that would be something to see.
Small forward Morrison was the dominant scorer in college this season, averaging a ridiculous 28.1 points during his junior season at Gonzaga before the Bobcats grabbed him with the third overall pick in the NBA draft.
His performance at the Summer League — a league-leading 24.6 PPG — should dispel any doubts that Morrison will be an immediate impact player in the NBA. Sure, he’s not the most athletically-inclined athlete to suit up in the association’s history, but his instincts for the game are unparalled, and that is what’s going to make him a player worth watching.
Morrison, who turns 22 on Wednesday, improved his free throw shooting and outside game this season, but remains a substandard rebounder. We’ve seen him compared to another goofy white kid, Wally Szczerbiak, and as far as what you can expect goes (scoring, not many boards, a few assists), that’s as good an analogy as we’ve seen.
The 6’8″, 220-pound Morrison is very talented, there’s no denying that. But here’s hoping that the imagery of him sobbing for his mama under that crazy ‘do soon fades into oblivion.