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2010 Exit Interviews: Adam Morrison

morrison1Adam Morrison saw action in only 31 regular season and two playoff games, scoring a total of 82 points.

Acquired along with Shannon Brown in February of 2009, Morrison won two rings with the Lakers, but was never able to garner significant playing time heading into free agency.

Below is a summary of his exit interview:

- (On his experience with the team): “It was cool. It was tough not playing as much, at all really, but being a part of the team was fun. Being with the group of guys we had was cool.”

- Morrison said that his agent told him that there was some interest in him around the league.
He added that he’s not ruling out coming back to the Lakers, but mentioned that: “I didn’t play here so I don’t know why they’d want to bring me back.”

- (On what he got out of meeting with Phil Jackson and Mitch Kupchak): “I need to work on my guard skills to be able to play in this league, and Phil said he enjoyed having me on the team. I understood why the minutes were limited (with the talent on the wing on this team). I just thanked them for bringing me here in the first place and letting me be apart of a (championship team).”

- (On if he got confidence from competing hard in practice with the second unit against the starters): “One-hundred percent. The second unit guys that didn’t play much prided ourselves on trying to make this team better. To be a championship team you have to have guys that push the team every day. Going against Ron and Kobe every day could be nothing but positive.”

- (On developing his game by having Artest guard him): “Especially against Ron. I’d see other guys when he’d play and the looks on their faces … I have to wrestle with that bear every day, so I know how it goes.”

- (On Jimmy Kimmel making a mock highlight video of him on the bench in the playoffs): “I don’t know why that guy has always picked on me for some reason … but he has a show to do. I understand.”

- (On seeing a lot in the past few years): “I’ve been on all spectrums. I’ve been at the top of the college game, I’ve been injured and not playing, I’ve not suited up. I’ve seen all aspects of the game and it’s changed me as a person.”

- (On his health): “I feel my hop has gotten back a little bit.”

Morrison & Che Guevara

blog_100121morrisonchephilLast night, we learned that Phil Jackson gifted Adam Morrison the book “Che,” by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon, which is a graphic biography (also known as a picture book) of Che Guevara.

“Adam has been sporting a Che Guevara t-shirt, so he got the picture book,” said Jackson. “Most of the books are hand-picked.”

Morrison said that he was quite happy with Jackson’s choice for him, as he read Guevara’s biography in high school and found it fascinating.

Prior to the tipoff in Cleveland, Morrison spent a moment discussing the revolutionary nature of the book … before returning to hit a few three-pointers. No word on if there’s any connection to shooting threes and Guevara’s ideas.

Morrison Aiming to Stay Sharp

Adam Morrison - CDRIsn’t it hard to stay sharp with one’s jump shot when field goal attempts in games are generally less common than December game winners for Kobe Bryant?

Take Adam Morrison.

He hasn’t played in five games, since being afforded 5:35 of late action against the Phoenix Suns on Dec. 6. And through 24 contests, 20 of them Lakers wins, Morrison has been on the court long enough to hoist only 32 total shots, hitting 11 (34.4 percent).

Yet as the Lakers attempt to build on back-to-back wins over the Bulls and Bucks with Saturday-Sunday contests in New Jersey and Detroit, minute allocation wouldn’t appear to be changing for a guy playing behind likely the NBA’s best and deepest roster.

After all, Morrison knows that he is much better than a 34.4 percent shooter, and the difficulty of trying to knock down shots after often sitting down for three quarters before entering (or just keeping his warm ups on altogether) hasn’t been lost on him.

That doesn’t mean he’s full of excuses.

“If you’re a short-minute guy or a specialist, like they call it now, you have to come in and have the attitude that you have to pull the trigger and let it go no matter what happens,” he said. “Your teammates and coaches are expecting you to knock it down, and that’s what I have to do.”

Adam MorrisonThe question is, how does a former college star who played nearly 30 minutes a game as a rookie before tearing his ACL prior to the 2007-08 season stay sharp with tempered expectations for game action?

“It’s repetition and practice, making sure you’re getting up enough shots every day, combined with the mindset of staying ready and confident in yourself to knock it down,” explained Morrison.

The Gonzaga product went on to say that if one is more or less assured of playing good minutes (take Kobe Bryant, as the easiest example), that player can pick and choose when it’s a good time to get his own shot or to pass the ball to a teammate within the flow of the offense.

On the other side of the coin, if you’re a player like Morrison or even Sasha Vujacic, each of whose primary threat to an opponent is his ability to score quickly, there’s a good chance that the focus of the defense is elsewhere. The shooters are expected to step up.

“You don’t really have time to let the game flow for you,” summarized Morrison. “You just gotta let it go.”

From a technical standpoint, Morrison has one trick that he uses to keep himself focused.

“I always just try and hold the follow through until it goes in,” he said. “That helps me because I usually short-arm shots if I don’t hold it.”

Other than that?

Like he said, there’s not much to think about.

Several Lakers Gather for Wednesday Workout

Training camp is still a few weeks away for the Lakers, yet several of the players gathered in El Segundo on Wednesday afternoon to shoot, lift and play some pick up ball.

As Shannon Brown explained in the above @Lakers Twitvid, he was joined by Luke Walton, Sasha Vujacic, Ron Artest, Jordan Farmar, Josh Powell and Adam Morrison in addition to some D-Leaguers (to round out a 5-on-5 run).

Prior to the full-court action, some of the players went through lifting and general strenghtening activities with Lakers Director of Athletic Performance Chip Schaefer (Walton and Brown specifically), others got some shots up (Vujacic and Farmar) while others worked with assistant coach Brian Shaw and advance scout/assistant coach Rasheed Hazzard on running L.A.’s offense (Artest and Brown).

“It’s just good to get back in here,” said Walton. “I think we’re all excited about the coming season and eager to get ready to go.”

It won’t be long, since the first preseason game is only three weeks away on October 7 against Golden State.

Morrison Misses Final Summer League Game

After a solid week of action, Lakers forward Adam Morrison sat out of L.A.’s final Summer League game due to the stomach flu.

With Morrison back at the team hotel, the Lakers competed hard – grabbing 12 offensive boards to help overcome offensive struggles towards a 40-40 halftime tie with undefeated Houston – but the lack of scoring proved to be too much in the second half of a 92-77 defeat.

Chinemelu ElonuHouston outscored L.A. 27-12 in the third quarter thanks in part to second round pick Chase Budinger, who dropped 25 points in 26 minutes for the game. Meanwhile, L.A.’s second round pick Chinemelu Elonu wasn’t bad himself, leading the Vegas version of purple and gold with 16 points plus eight rebounds.

The Lakers shot just 39.0 percent from the field, failed to make a single three-pointer and stayed in the game largely due to hustle on the glass, which netted 19 offensive boards and a 41-37 overall edge. Ben McCauley went for an 11 and 10 point-rebound double-double, while an efficient David Monds added 14 points off the bench plus six boards in 18 minutes.

As for Morrison: He finished the week with a 20.8 scoring average on 29-of-69 shooting (42 percent), including 8-of-19 from three (42.1 percent) and 17-of-19 from the foul line (89.5 percent). He was shooting 47 percent from the floor before struggling to a 5-for-18 performance in the team’s Tuesday win over Oklahoma City, but Summer League Head Coach Chucky Brown praised Morrison for drawing most of the Thunder’s defensive attention, which produced open looks for his teammates.

The former No. 3 overall pick also averaged 5.0 rebounds, tossed eight assists and notched three steals with two blocks, and looked to be fully recovered from the torn ACL that occurred prior to the 2007-08 season.

Lakers Win Again, Start 2-0 in Vegas

Chinemelu ElonuAdam Morrison’s 22 points paced L.A. in its second Summer League win in as many tries as the Lakers defeated Cleveland 88-82 on Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas.

A day after scoring 24 points against Toronto, Morrison converted 8-of-16 field goals – including 4-of-6 from downtown – and pitched in four rebounds with three assists against the Cavs.

Lakers second round pick Chinemelu Elonu (pictured) used his 23 minutes of burn to put up nine points on 4-of-6 shooting, plus five boards and two blocks, a day after he played just 14 minutes.

It was a relatively easy win for the Lakers, who trailed just once early in the first quarter before steadily pushing the lead to as many as 14 in the fourth quarter.

“I thought everyone played hard, we were able to play really physical I thought we did a great job,” said Lakers Summer League Head Coach Chucky Brown to NBA.com. “We need to sharpen up our defense a little bit more and I think we’ll be alright.”

L.A. outshot the Cavs 50.8 to 42.6 percent, and made seven three-pointers to help cover a poor effort from the free throw line (15-of-27, 55.6 percent). The Lakers also held a seven-rebound edge (39-32) and had four players in double figures led by Morrison.

The Lakers’ Vegas crew has Sunday off before a Monday evening tilt with Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon and the L.A. Clippers, set to tip at 8:30 p.m.

If you’re interested in watching the game, you can sign up for NBA SUMMER LEAGUE BROADBAND.

Morrison Leads Lakers to Summer League Win

Adam MorrisonAdam Morrison scored 24 points – including the hit the game-clinching free throws – to lead the Lakers to a come-from-behind 85-84 win over Toronto to open the 2009 Summer League in Las Vegas.

Morrison converted 9-of-17 shots (52.9 percent) from the field and made all five of his free throws, adding five rebounds and three assists to the effort. He made 1-of-3 three-pointers, grabbed three of his boards on the offensive glass and added two blocked shots to his effort as L.A. made up a nine-point halftime deficit.

The former No. 3 overall draft pick in 2006 came to the Lakers via trade from Charlotte in early February and played minimally during L.A.’s title run, making Summer League important for him personally even though he’s signed through the 2009-10 season.

In other news, Lakers second round draft pick Chinemelu Elonu (59 overall) scored two points with three boards and a steal while taking just one shot in 14 minutes in the win, while NC State product Ben McCauley matched Morrison’s 24 points and added a game-high 14 rebounds.

L.A.’s next game is at 3 p.m. on Saturday against Cleveland; you can see by ordering the NBA’s Summer League Broadband package by clicking HERE.

Adam Morrison: Exit Interview

blog_090619adammorrisonAfter being traded to the Lakers from the Charlotte Bobcats alongside Shannon Brown for Vladimir Radmanovic midseason, Adam Morrison appeared in just eight games for the Lakers, playing a total of 44 minutes to score 10 points with eight boards and three assists.

Morrison, the former No. 3 overall pick, did not appear in a playoff game, but instead focused on really getting his knee to the point of full recovery after tearing his ACL at the beginning of the 2007-08 season.

Under contract through next season, Morrison talked about his personal goals at his exit interview:

- Morrison said that he would play for the Lakers in the Las Vegas Summer League.

- More than anything else, Morrison said he needs to continue to get his knee at full strength on one hand, and on the other, continue to learn L.A.’s offense.

- He said his knee “Feels pretty normal for the most point,” but that he “Still doesn’t have full range of flexibility but they say that’s how it goes.”

- The highlight to him in the postseason: Game 5 was pretty cool, but the Denver and Houston series kind of gelled our team together, the toughness (we had to show), especially late in those series.

- Morrison detailed that his chance to contribute to the team was by playing on the scout teams in practice trying to get the guys who played minutes ready to go. He impersonated players like Carmelo Anthony, Hedo Turkoglu, Ron Artest, Shane Battier and other forwards.

- Morrison wasn’t surprised at all by what Shannon Brown showed: “I knew Shannon could do that, he just didn’t really get an opportunity.”

- Of course it’s a big offseason for Morrison since next is the last of his rookie deal: “I have to work hard and maybe it’ll work out, maybe it won’t … Next year is hugely important, it’s my contract year.”

- Morrison cited assistant coach Brian Shaw for doing a lot to try and help him learn the offense in practice.

- He also talked about dealing with diabetes, but he doesn’t “look at himself as a poster child” for the condition.

- One thing he said he appreciated about Phil Jackson was: “If you’re not getting minutes (in games), you still get to play in practice, so that helps you keep your rhythm about you and improve even in you’re not on the floor.”

Walton Feeling Zona’s Sweet 16

March MadnessA No. 12 seed into the Sweet 16, huh?

“I tried to tell everyone already,” said Luke Walton without too much prompting regarding his Arizona Wildcats. “My teammates were all getting on me for picking Arizona because I was showing favoritism to my school, but I’m a realist. I just told them what was going to happen. I have them going to the National Championship game.”

While ‘Zona still has a long ways to go to get there – they’d have to beat Louisville, the Michigan State/Kansas winner and likely either UCONN or Memphis – Walton’s already feeling pretty good. He correctly picked 38 of the 48 possible games played in rounds one and two, and was the only participant in our Lakers.com March Madness contest (he ranks third behind Shannon Brown and Adam Morrison) to correctly take Arizona to the Sweet 16, where they’ll face Rick Pitino’s squad.

“We have a tough matchup against Louisville, but we have two kids starting for Arizona that are from San Diego, which definitely helps,” said Walton, who coincidentally happens to be from San Diego. “We have a tough point guard in Nic Wise – you need a tough point to succeed in the tourney – and we have one of the best big men in the country in Jordan Hill. That’s the recipe for success right there.”

Now, if his teammates are talking trash, Walton’s not listening.

“The things is, my teammates aren’t even allowed to talk to me about it – except for Shannon (Brown) and Adam (Morrison), because they’ve got Michigan State and Gonzaga still going,” Walton explained. “If your team is out of it, you can’t speak to the people that have teams still playing for something. You can’t talk trash – I mean you can talk to me, just not about college basketball.”

So if Brown or Morrison wants to have a nice lil’ NCAA conversation with Luke, it’s all good. On the other hand, an example of guys who aren’t allowed to speak to Walton about college hoops are Trevor Ariza and Jordan Farmar, whose UCLA Bruins lost in the second round to Villanova.

“That’s what happens when you don’t win your conference or conference tournament, you get a higher seed and have to go up against a team playing great basketball in their hometown (Philadelphia),” said Farmar. “I took the hit in my Lakers.com bracket with my Bruins pick to win it all, but if I’m going down it’s going to be with my boys.”

Fair enough.

Lakers Acquire Adam Morrison & Shannon Brown

Brown/Morrison
Just moments after arriving at Cleveland’s practice facility for a scheduled media session with the Lakers, it was quickly learned that L.A. had traded Vladimir Radmanovic to Charlotte in return for Adam Morrison and Shannon Brown.

We’ll have Phil Jackson’s reaction on video shortly, plus audio from a conference call with Mitch Kupchak; until then, here’s the press release concerning the transaction: ***UPDATE: Here’s the multimedia extravaganza***

The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired forward Adam Morrison and guard Shannon Brown from the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Vladimir Radmanovic, it was announced today.

Morrison, currently in his 3rd NBA season out of Gonzaga, was selected third overall by the Bobcats in the 2006 NBA Draft after earning unanimous First Team All-America honors and garnering multiple National Player of the Year awards his senior year. Named to the All-Rookie Second Team following the 2006-07 season, Morrison appeared in 78 games as rookie including 23 starts, averaging 11.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 29.8 minutes while earning T-Mobile Rookie of the Month honors for November 2006.

Missing the entire 2007-08 season after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee in an October 20 preseason game against the Lakers, Morrison has played in 44 games this season including five starts, averaging 4.5 points and 1.6 rebounds in 15.2 minutes with a high-game of 16 points November 11 vs. Denver.

In 122 career games (23 starts), Morrison is averaging 9.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 24.5 minutes.

Brown, also in his 3rd NBA season out of Michigan State, was originally selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 25th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. Traded to the Chicago Bulls as part of the Ben Wallace deal in February of 2008, Brown signed with Charlotte as a free agent this past August. In 30 games with the Bobcats this season, Brown is averaging 4.8 points in 11.4 minutes with a season-highs in points (16), steals (4) and minutes (26) coming November 3 vs. Detroit.

In 74 career games (9 starts), Brown is averaging 4.5 points in 10.6 minutes