How do you judge whether a basketball player is successful or not? Is it leading your high school to becoming state champions? Is it making it to the NCAA tournament, or do you have to win it all? Is it making it to the NBA, or the number of championship rings you walk away with? What about Ewing, Barkley, Malone, and Stockton?
I love watching Adam Morrison play basketball. He cares about the game. You saw his heartbreak when Gonzaga lost in the NCAA tournament, you saw just how much winning means to him. You see his passion for the game as he continues to pursue his dream after his career was derailed by a torn ACL.
I get tired of seeing online articles that label Morrison as a “bust”. It’s classically American these days to sit behind our computer screens and criticize others while they pursue their greatest passions.
To call Morrison a “bust” would demonstrate a severely flawed definition of the word success.
How would you label someone with this kind of basketball resume?
- Mead Senior High School Single Season & Career Scoring Record Holder
- WCC All-Freshman Team
- All WCC First Team
- All West Coast Team
- Nation’s Leading Scorer (2005-2006)
- Led the Zags to the 2006 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16
- National Player of the Year (past winners: Tim Duncan, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan)
- NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2007)
Morrison was an NCAA star who had the attention of every basketball fan in the entire nation. He went from high school star to college superstar to NBA draft pick.
While we’re renewing our subscriptions to Sports Illustrated, he’s been on the cover.
While we’re on our XBOX 360 pretending to play in the NBA, Morrison earned his way into NBA and has stood in front of thousands hearing the crowds cheer when his name is called.
While you and I shoot free throws to see what team we are playing for in our little pick up games in the driveway, Michael Jordan selects Morrison 3rd in the NBA draft.
While you and I sat in our living rooms watching the Lakers win two championships, Morrison was practicing with one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the game and sitting under the wisdom and teaching of the greatest NBA coach of all time. Your Laker championship memorabilia may consist of a t-shirt and basketball you got with your Sports Illustrated subscription, but Morrison will always have two NBA Championship rings sitting on his mantle.
Did Morrison turn out to be the next Larry Bird? No, but he has accomplished more on the basketball court than the hundreds of thousands of us who are trying to relive our high school days of ball playing at local YMCA’s and on playground courts.
Will Morrison play in the NBA again? I really hope he does, but that remains to be seen. But if he never puts on another NBA jersey, the guy is the definition of success.