Where Damon Stoudamire gets his pot.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Year of Judgment

History very well could peg Adam Morrison as another mis-step in the post-basketball management career of Michael Jordan and little else. Only three years ago Morrison and Redick slugged it out for the nation's scoring title and captivated a national audience. It seems like that happened more than ten years ago.

Since being drafted I've had few opportunities to watch them on television. To start, the Bobcats aren't exactly in high demand for those outside of North Carolina. (Or in North Carolina from the looks of it.) But more importantly, the play of both guys was mediocre. Redick rode the bench when I believed he had a legitimate shot at competing for a starting position in a weak Magic backcourt. Morrison's season was less mediocre than Redick's though fraught with inconsistency and absolute stinkers with respect to field-goal percentage and overall efficiency. Watching Morrison, on the couple occasions I managed to, revealed a one-dimensional player: Morrison could only jack up shots. And they missed.

Which brings us to Year Three for JJ and Morrison. Early reports out of Orlando indicate that Redick should see a little more action this season. Morrison looks destined for worse. On a highly athletic (though terrible) Bobcats team, I simply can not find a spot for a one-dimensional player coming off a down season after tearing his ACL.

(And apparently Morrison's hair is longer. Like waist-length ponytail. And more facial hair. What's with these wholesome-looking white dudes in the League who go nuts overnight? Case example: Robert Swift. His career has been packed with injuries, so what did he do with all that free, rehabbing time? Got a bunch of tattoos and grew a huge ponytail. What possesses these white NBA players to go all Cherokee Parks? CP is the white man's trailblazer for freedom of expression.)

How much of the Redick/Morrison thing was a fabrication of the white sports media (which is really, really white)? As a collective entity did they project their want of white sports heroes in collegiate basketball in the form of JJ and Adam? Granted, both players put up big numbers in big programs, but the media certainly elevated them to levels of Bird-esque grandeur. NBA scouting services went so far as to call Morrison the next Bird.

Isiah Thomas famously remarked that Larry Bird was a fabrication of the white media. I'm not sure how the media fabricates three Championships, but hey.

Were Isiah Thomas to ask the same of Redick and Morrison, you'd have a difficult time arguing against him considering the perspective we now have, their professional output in tow. Their respective games just don't translate to the NBA-level. A part of me wishes for both of them to find some modicum of success, which, realistically speaking, means earning 'role player' status. Redick in particular has something to offer. His shot is still textbook. During the two or three times I've seen him make late entries into a game, he never failed to work hard for his shot and nail a couple threes.

With Morrison coming off surgery I don't see a bright future for him. At least not in Charlotte. The Second Coming of Larry Bird he is not. Ultimately, his legend was the greater of fabrications. And I think that's what history will ascertain from his career.

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