I always liked Adam Morrison’s game at Gonzaga, the way he’d play with pure passion, the way he led the nation in scoring the year they went to the Sweet 16. I felt bad that it didn’t work in Charlotte, felt bad that he blew out his knee. It’s how the game goes though. There was hope that he’d turn things around with the Lakers but he didn’t get off the bench much during two title runs. He had a deadpan, testy attitude with the media but teammates told about a funny guy to be around. I doubt it was a Dwight Howard please love me kind of funny. Morrison had a training camp stint with the Wizards after that, followed by euroleague action that went viral when he shoved a guy in Belgrade. I wanted him to catch on with a team during the lockout-shortened season but it didn’t happen. Last summer he destroyed the Lakers in summer league while wearing a Clippers uniform but the Clippers took a pass. He wound up going to Portland and was cut before the regular season began. Morrison was always gracious though, saying that he got paid good money to do something he loved. He has since returned to Gonzaga to get his degree and will also serve as a student assistant coach, back where he enjoyed his greatest on-court successes.
Speaking of Gonzaga, the Lakers brought ex-Bulldog Austin Daye in for a workout on Wednesday. Personally, I’d welcome the opportunity to see a 6-11 small forward in Mike D’Antoni’s system. Daye’s still thin as a rail and never really caught on with Detroit but he certainly had some heat coming out of college.
The job of video coordinator has become increasingly important for NBA teams in the modern era and the job often evolves into more than capturing action and rolling tape. Guys like Mike Brown and Erik Spoelstra worked in the booth before becoming head coaches. Mike Trudell for the Lakers website recently spoke with Tom Bialaszewski, the Lakers tape guru.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about the expectations of a 2014-15 dream season for the Los Angeles Lakers. That’s more than a year away however and there’s actually an upcoming season of basketball to be played. Steve Nash is looking forward to it and is willing to put his money on Kobe’s full strength return. Nash also voiced the opinion that Dwight Howard never seemed to want to be a Laker, and that it’s time to get on with the business of building a team.
Part of that building process is bolstering the guard corp. By the time the injury-decimated Lakers exited last year’s playoffs, the back court was repped by Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock. The return of Jordan Farmar is intriguing in many ways. Drafted by the Lakers as the 26th pick in 2006, Farmar played an important role during his four-year stint. It was no secret however, that the triangle wasn’t the best fit for his prototypical point guard style. This time around, things could be different. Mike D’Antoni’s offensive style is right up Farmar’s alley.
The 2014 season is a hypothetical, filled with notions of free agent jackpots and questions about team direction. Straight ahead however, may be a season of purely fun basketball. It wasn’t all that long ago that Mike D’Antoni was seen as the future of the league. He was Coach of the Year in 2005 and his ‘Seven Seconds or Less’ system was widely chronicled, including a book by Jack McCallum who wrangled a gig as a Phoenix Suns assistant coach for eight glorious days. Those halcyon days aren’t talked about as much anymore. Still, by all accounts D’Antoni has management’s backing for at least one more season. It may be his last best chance for basketball redemption.