Morant took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to seek Cowley's reasoning:
The 21-year-old Murray State product appeared to turn the revelation into motivation:
Although there's no doubting Williamson's impact on the Pelicans upon his return from knee surgery in January, Morant built the more complete Rookie of the Year case while playing 43 additional games.
He was immediately thrust into a marquee role for Memphis, leading the team in both points (17.8) and assists (7.3) while also grading out as a plus-defender in ESPN's Real Plus-Minus.
It was a lot of responsibility for a first-year player, and not only did he excel, but he also did enough to help the Grizzlies earn a berth in the play-in game in the loaded Western Conference. They came up short against the more experienced Portland Trail Blazers, but it still set the stage for a bright future.
Williamson and Morant, the first two picks in the 2019 NBA draft, will forever be linked, and their careers are each off to promising starts.
The Grizzlies' rising star was the rightful winner of the league's top rookie honor, however, and he's clearly taking names of those who disagree.