CHUCK BURTON/Associated Press
That picture in general just has to make Bobcats fans cringe.
Emeka Okafor was supposed to be a franchise center after leading his UConn Huskies to a national title and was selected right after Dwight Howard at No. 2 overall. In 2005, they took two hometown kids in Raymond Felton and Sean May, who had previously led the local North Carolina Tar Heels to a title. Felton was taken fifth overall and May went at No. 13.
All three underwhelmed, but none was the kind of bust Adam Morrison was. It is astonishing now to think that those four were supposed to be the nucleus of a contender. Morrison was the first draft pick in the Jordan era, who at the time was the manager of basketball operations.
Morrison came to the league amongst a whirlwind of hype after an unbelievable career at Gonzaga. He scored 15.3 points a game in his first month of his career, and it was all downhill from there. Morrison showed no semblance of offensive consistency whatsoever and was a nightmare on defense throughout his rookie year. He then tore his ACL in the preseason of his sophomore campaign and again slugged through his third season before getting traded to the Lakers, where he flamed out after a year and a half.
What hurt most is that he averaged 28.1 points in his final college season, yet only scored 30 points one time in his NBA career. There is nothing positive to say about his brief stay in the league.
The main reason the Bobcats did not have any sustained level of success was because they squandered far too many high draft picks. One could make the argument that every player the Bobcats drafted in the first round in their 10 years has not lived up to expectations with the possible exceptions of Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson. The jury is still out on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as well as Bismack Biyombo (who came over in a trade on draft night), but early impressions are weak. Felton, May, D.J. Augustin and Alexis Ajinca all flamed out as well.
Despite all the poor draft picks, none stung quite like Morrison. He had otherworldly hype coming to town, and he fell flat on his face. It is unfortunate that his poor showing will forever cast a shadow over Bobcats history.