Thursday, February 9, 2012


Hidden in plain sight. I was honestly surprised that some NBA team didn’t sign Adam Morrison this shortened season. Not that he’s the answer, not that he’s instant redemption as a former number three pick. But if anything, he’s clearly found his game again, far away from home. Some months back, Sam Amick wrote a great interview piece for Sports Illustrated:

For me, its all about feeling good about myself again and just having fun”, Morrison said. “If it translates to the NBA, yes, that would obviously be great. If it translates to me continuing my career in Europe, thats fine with me too, honestly. I want to end my career on a solid note in my mind and in my soul. I guess you could say, to feel good about basketball again.”

The new found attention and respect began with a video that went viral on YouTube. Ammo had responded to an elbow from Bogdan Radosavljevic with a forearm shiver and angry pursuit, leading to his ejection and full blown crowd insanity.

I would have run through a brick wall that night for anything. Goose bumps. Sweating. That whole day, Ive never been so focused. It was a friendly game, and I was thinking, ‘All right, Im going nuts tonight. I dont care what happensI was ready to fight, to do anything, just to play.”

More videos followed and it became obvious, this wasn’t a heat of the moment blowup, Morrison was playing inspired basketball once again, in Serbia. Crazy outside jumpers, aggressive post-ups in the paint, fuck you, Jimmy Kimmel. Four months later we’re partway through a zig-zag season with players going down left and right, available table scraps chased down like the holy grail. Where’s Ammo? He was let out of his contract on the eve of the NBA season, hoping for a ticket home. Nobody took a flyer.

Morrison’s now with Besiktas Milangaz in the Turkish Basketball League. The club’s no joke, a rich history dating back to 1933 and currently in the EuroChallenge hunt – Morrison poured in 26 points recently against BK Pardubice. It’s great but it’s not the NBA. Does it matter? That depends who you are. Deron Williams said goodbye to Besiktas and returned to the Nets where he’s putting up big numbers once again. Sasha Vujacic signed for a full season with Andolu Efes and was recently named MVP of the Turkish All-Star game. Big fish, little fish, apples and oranges. The Machine will likely have NBA offers waiting if he chooses – he put up career high numbers during his stay in New Jersey.

For those on the extreme fringe, the question is tougher and often hypothetical. Would you rather be an overseas star or hope for a non-guaranteed spot on the bench? If you came from the Euroleague, it’s easier to go home again. If you grew up stateside and once had your moment in the NBA sun, you may find the path back elusive. This is where Morrison now lives, he doesn’t fit with executives who fold their lower level hopes into neatly defined squares. He’s a recluse in the spotlight, he may never get his chance again.

The season proceeds apace, teams bunched up in the middle, players cut down as the trade deadline looms. Those 15th slots are opening, tracked by agents looking to bag one last commission before hunting season closes. Adam Morrison drifts between the cross-hairs, you take a breath and caress the trigger. There's movement, he looks up and freezes. Gilbert Arenas comes into view, working the angles for all they're worth. 

You smile and put away the bad trigger device. You are a socially responsible blogger. You write about team concepts and limited resources and happy endings. Adam Morrison fades into the rear view mirror. Don’t you know that you are a shooting star?


  1. Adam Morrison hasn't finished solving the European Sovereign Debt Crisis. Give him a few months and when he's done with that he'll come back.

  2. Oh wow, the hair! If he comes back, I hope he keeps the hair. And the Cyrillic lettering. His name looks pretty badass in Cyrillic.

    Nice piece, Dave. Enjoyed it as always.

  3. Dave, again, terrific stuff.

    Even if he's just as one-dimensional as a player can get, I've always wanted Ammo to succeed. He had that crazy hair going and it added to his flair as he scored bucket after bucket in college. He was also diabetic and could've provided an inspiration to others like him (my dad, maybe). I hope he gets another chance and makes good with it.