Why Adam Morrison Isn’t One of the Biggest Draft Busts in NBA History

Adam Morrison had a spectacular college career at Gonzaga. The NBA, however, hasn’t been the easiest transition for him.

Morrison was immediately labeled as an un-athletic guy who could score and happened to go to a small school. That prompted a lot of, “I see so much of Larry Bird in him” type statements. This, for a player who hadn’t even played a single minute in the league, seemed and still seems a bit unfair.

Any time these kinds of comparisons come up, if the comp (as the kids say) is a lofty one, and the player doesn’t live up to it, then said player is perceived as a failure.

The rookie year wasn’t bad at all. Morrison put up nearly 12 points a game to go along with 3 rebounds and 2 assists per game. Going into the NBA, the Gonzaga product was tabbed as a scorer. In terms of points per game for rookies in Morrison’s freshman campaign, only Brandon Roy and Andrea Bargnani scored more. It should also be pointed out that Morrison scored more points a game than fellow rookies Rudy Gay, LaMarcus Aldridge, Randy Foye and Paul Millsap.

Morrison then proceeded to tear his ACL. That obviously set him back a ways, but upon his return he wasn’t exactly at the top of the new coach’s rotation in Charlotte.

So, the Bobcats shipped him off to LA with Shannon Brown for Vlad Radmonovic. Morrison was buried on LA’s bench and despite winning a couple of championship rings, didn’t play much at all.

After training camp stints in Portland and Washington, Morrison is currently a free agent. It should also be noted that his production in terms of statistics as well as minutes have taken a sharp turn for the worst since his rookie year.

This is what I’m saying, Morrison isn’t a bust. He had a solid rookie year where he showed a lot of promise. However, injuries and other non-controllable things forced the GU product into being labeled a bust. This is probably harsh seeing as he’s played in only 83 games at a rate of a little over 10 minutes per game since his rookie year. Once someone gives Morrison a spot in their regular playing rotation, he won’t be unfairly labeled a bust.

3 thoughts on “Why Adam Morrison Isn’t One of the Biggest Draft Busts in NBA History

  1. That’s a stretch, Know.

    I think any time you use a top five draft pick on someone and he doesn’t end up contributing, for whatever reason, he can be fairly considered a bust.

    Unless, of course, not much was expected out of him in the first place and if that’s the case, he shouldn’t have gone that high.

    • I think part of it has to be the fact that MJ pulled the strings, maybe in a different situation he would have performed better, or at least gotten an extended opportunity. Also, maybe would have been better off farther down the lottery with less pressure on him.

  2. I’m going to have to disagree with you on your stance for four main reasons:

    1. Yes, Morrison averaged 12 points a game in his rookie year, but he also shot a little over 37% from the field. That’s horrendous.

    2. Athletes don’t get blackballed or moved down in rotations for no apparent reason. Obviously he was having trouble in practices or not giving any coaching a reason to keep him in their rotations, yet alone on their teams. If you can play basketball, there’s always a system out there for you and there’s always a team willing to sign you. And seeing that Mprrison would probably play for a cheap price, he can’t just be a victim of being labeled as a bust. The guy just can’t play in the NBA because he lacks the athleticism, talent, and some intangible(s) that NBA scouts or front offices would be looking for.

    3. Morrison is a formidable shooter, that’s not a question. A huge reason why he can’t stay in the league is because he lacks the athleticism to stay on the court for long stretches. This can be pointed at his illness (I want to say diabetes?) where he used to literally inject syringes into himself, during games, on the bench at Gonzaga. He lacks the athleticism to get open and run through screens and isn’t a GOOD enough to have the ability to lack athleticism.

    4. If the reasons above aren’t enough for you to think that it’s fair to label Morrison as a bust, take this into consideration: any player who fails to meet expectations is simply someone who didn’t pan out. Take a guy like Marvin Williams, forward for the Utah Jazz, into perspective: 2nd overall pick a few years back, never met the huge expectations put forth for him, but is a decent NBA player. Nobody’s calling him a bust: he’s a starter and playing sufficient basketball.
    Morrison is a bust because he’s not only a lottery pick who didn’t meet expectations, but he’s a lottery pick who can’t even find a job. There’s a huge difference between not meeting expectations and not being able to find a job. Morrisons struggles to stay on a NBA roster qualifies him as a certified bust.

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