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Adam Morrison says he makes Blazers’ roster or retires

Oct 3, 2012, 8:53 AM EDT

adam morrison Getty Images

Adam Morrison is back in an NBA training camp.

The former No. 3 pick earned it — after being out of the league a couple years he played well enough in Serbia last season to get an invite to NBA Summer League in Vegas, and once there he averaged 20 points and 5 rebounds a game. He played well and had the crowd giving him “M-V-P” chants on the final day. So the Portland Trail Blazers invited him to camp.

And this is it — he makes the team or he walks away from basketball, Morrison told Chris Haynes of

“I’m going to finish school and start coaching (If he didn’t make the Trail Blazers roster)…I did the Europe thing and it just wasn’t for me,” Morrison told “Not saying the (Europe) culture or anything like that, (or) the people, it just wasn’t for me. So, yeah, if it doesn’t work out, I’m willing to look myself in the mirror and say, ‘I gave it a honest shot’ and turn the page. Do something else.”

He’s got an honest shot to make the Blazers roster. The team lost Elliot Williams for the season so they need depth on the wing.

Even back when he was a mocked-by-fans Laker bench warmer, players on that team said in practice he could still shoot the lights out. He worked hard and legitimately impressed guys on a team that won a title with his shooting touch. But when Phil Jackson put him in games his defense was a disaster. So Jackson didn’t put him in a lot of games.

It’s defense that will determine if he sticks in the NBA or becomes a coach somewhere.

“I think everybody is aware that he has a great ability to put the ball in the basket,” (Blazers head coach Terry) Stotts said after the team’s first training camp session. “He can make shots, he can create shots. That’s his strength. That’s his bread and butter and that’s the way he will prove himself. But at the same token, he has to do a little of everything: He’s got to defend, he has to fit within the team.”

Honestly, I’m rooting for the guy. I want him to make it back to the NBA, and contribute there. I wasn’t the only one at Summer League who felt that way, watching a once-maligned draft bust try to work his way back. He was a fan favorite, and if he makes the Blazers roster he will be a fan favorite there as well.

  1. broncobeta - Oct 3, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Best of luck to him. It’s always great to see a guy work hard to make a comeback.

  2. florida727 - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    In his 4 NBA seasons, not counting what he did in Europe, Morrison has earned nearly $17 million in salary alone. Needless to say, he’s set for life financially. Kind of refreshing to see a guy like him have that realistic approach: if he makes the roster, great; if not, he has other plans for his life. Sounds to me as though either way, he wins. Best of luck, Adam.

    • nbascreed - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      I don’t think that Morrison is set for life based on those career earnings. In the words of Donnie Brasco “it ain’t nuthin” but I would hardly say that based on present value analysis he’s set financially. I couldn’t add the table here so I posted to my own blog, if you thumbs down me for linking…save it…seriously, I’m only doing this so that florida727 can understand the underlying logic that supports my contention.

      Also if you read this as an indictment on Adam, then you’re wrong, I’m pointing out the fallacy in the whole “this guy made X million so he must be set for life meme” that normal people apply to anyone who’s come into millions of bucks.

      • borderline1988 - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:06 PM

        I don’t know what sort of finance you practice, but you’re way wrong on that assumption.

        Even if Morrison only has $5 million left, that’s more than enough. A conservative return of 3% will net you ~$100k in after-tax cash flows per year for the rest of your life, without eating into the principle at all.
        If he’s smart enough not to blow it (and judging by his comments above, I assume that’s the case), he is set for life.

        A few million dollars in the bank invested wisely, plus a small supplementary income is enough to live on for a lifetime. The problem is, most millionaire athletes blow their money on stupid things.

  3. jimsjam33 - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    C,mon Adam . Work on that defense and be a plus for the Blazers . You can do it .

  4. 00maltliquor - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Go get ’em tiger!

  5. fnc111 - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Hopefully he makes their roster.

  6. eugenesaxe - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    We already have a guy that shoots 3s and can’t play D, that’s not a skillset teams normally want to duplicate.

  7. danfrommv - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    Of course, it is easier to “turn the page” and “try something else” after you have already made $30 mil

    • paleihe - Oct 4, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      This doesn’t seem to have anything to do with money.

      If I were a #3 pick, and I flamed out after a few lackluster seasons, I’d wanna come back and prove to everyone, myself included, that I’m good enough to play at this level.

      He’s probably got goals he wants to hit, and restore his image. It’s a sense of pride. Not, “I made enough money to quit doing this.”

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