Morrison Meets The Charlotte Media
June 29, 2006
For a complete text of the press conference click here.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Adam Morrison isn't interested in the fame, fortune or fast lifestyle associated with many NBA players.
Morrison would settle for his own key to the practice gym.
"He's not a frills guy, or a high-maintenance guy. He hates to go out," his father, John, said after Morrison was introduced Thursday as the newest member of the Charlotte Bobcats. "He loves basketball."
Morrison, the No. 3 overall pick and the first selection by the Bobcats since Michael Jordan became part-owner, thinks Charlotte is a perfect fit. He grew up in Spokane, Wash., and stayed home to play college ball at Gonzaga.
He should feel right at home in Charlotte, a quiet banking town that lacks the nightlife of the NBA's top markets.
"I just like a little more quiet, laid back city," Morrison said. "It fits my personality and it's a basketball city."
The 6-foot-8 small forward led the nation in scoring last season at 28.1 points per game, and Jordan put pressure on him right away, saying on draft night he believes Morrison can be the clutch scorer missing from the team in its first two seasons.
"I've shown in my college career that I like the ball at the end of the game and I like to take the big shots," Morrison said. "Coming from Michael, the king of clutch, it's special. I just want to fit in any way I can and do whatever it takes to help this team win."
Jordan said he selected Morrison over Rudy Gay of Connecticut and Brandon Roy of Washington because of his ability to find his own shot and put the ball in the basket. The Bobcats were 18th out of 30 teams in scoring last season and haven't had a go-to scorer in their two-year history. Morrison had five 40-point games last season.
But there are major concerns about Morrison's defense - or lack thereof - and whether he can keep up with quick players on the perimeter.
"We're critical of it also," coach Bernie Bickerstaff said of Morrison's defense. "There are assets, and then there are things we all have to get better at, but he's willing."
Another concern about Morrison is his diabetes, which requires routine checks of his blood-sugar level - sometimes during games. Bickerstaff said team doctors signed off on the pick and Morrison, who will live with his older sister, Brandie, in Charlotte, plans to hire a full-time chef and nutritionist.
The Bobcats also see Morrison helping boost interest in the team. Despite shying away from the spotlight off the court, Morrison, with his shaggy hair, thin mustache and fiery on-court demeanor has already signed deals with EA Sports and Adidas, with more endorsement contracts in the works.
But Morrison's main love is basketball - and more basketball.
Now that his college career is over, he can focus on hoops 24 hours a day.
"It's awesome. School is fun, but getting paid a lot to work out and go to the gym, I'm looking forward to it," Morrison said.
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