Tragedy Or Triumph For A Laker

Randy GarciaAnalyst IJuly 13, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  (L-R) Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, Trevor Ariza, Luke Walton, Jordan Farmar (C) and Adam Morrison of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate on stage during the 2009 NBA Championship Victory Parade at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on June 17, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Casual fans of the Lakers may wonder who the guy sitting at the end of the bench during the Finals was. He was the guy who rarely got into games during the season and did little to show he should be in games. 

He was the ‘other guy’ in the trade that brought Shannon Brown to the team. The irony is that he was actually supposed to be the main guy Charlotte was giving up to get Vladimir Radmanovich, Shannon Brown was just a throw in. I’m talking, of course, about Adam Morrison.

Adam Morrison came to the Lakers in February 2009 and immediately made almost no impression at all.  He showed no signs of being the great scorer he had been while at Gonzaga, the college player who led the nation in scoring from 2005-2006.

The story was already being written, another first-round draft bust. Morrison was the player who showed great promise only to fizzle in the NBA. He was the great prospect who was injured early in his career and never quite recovered. 

Ironically Morrison tore his ACL while playing in a preseason game against the Lakers. Somehow it would have been fitting if his career died there, a sort of symmetry with the injury that stopped his career cold in 2007.

The 24 year old hasn’t given up though and his new coach, Phil Jackson, hasn’t given up yet. The last chance for young Adam Morrison is occurring right now in the NBA Summer League. Morrison has quietly become the second leading scorer in the League, scoring 24 and 22 points respectively in the first two games.

The Summer League is composed of mostly not-ready-for-the-NBA players so dominance of the Summer League is a must for any real prospect. This doesn’t guarantee Morrison anything but it does offer a glimmer of hope. 

Adam Morrison is trying to write a new story, of a basketball player who suffered a potential career ending injury, was considered washed up and took advantage of his last opportunity to restore his career. Will he restore his career while playing on the team that almost ended his career?

The NBA is full of stories of tragedy, players with promise whose careers are derailed by this or that and stories of triumph, players who overcome great obstacles to have a career playing with and against some of the greatest athletes in the world. Adam Morrison may just end up being a great Laker story of triumph.