The Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell reports that Adam Morrison scored 28 points — 20 in the second half — during a Bobcats intrasquad scrimmage yesterday.
Morrison got on such a roll that point guard Rick Burleson ran every play for him. There was no element of surprise after a few possessions, yet Morrison kept scoring, according to those who were there.
“You’d say some of the shots he was trying were not good shots because they were such hard shots,” Burleson said. “But a great scorer makes those.”
That’s what the Bobcats need — a great scorer. When they blew leads in the fourth quarter last season, it was primarily from an inability to match baskets. They were tied for the worst field-goal percentage (43.3 percent) in the league last season and need someone with Morrison’s offensive creativity, even if the trade-off is having to hide him some on defense.
Where did he come up with all these shots?
“Mostly I got them from being a gym rat,” said Morrison, who signed his rookie-scale contract with the Bobcats on Thursday. “Just shooting weird shots all the time.”
Bobcats assistant coach John-Blair Bickerstaff thinks it’s something more: “You can tell how he’s taken bits and pieces from other guys’ games and made them his own.”
Morrison agrees there’s some mimicry at work. He said watching Larry Bird taught him how to move constantly without the ball to get open. That’s now one of the best things Morrison does.
So was Wednesday night a statement to the team?
“I think they saw what I can do — different shots at different times,” Morrison said.
Burleson was more emphatic.
“Now my official job,” Burleson joked, “is get Adam the ball.”
Not mentioned is how many points were scored by the guy Morrison was obstensibly guarding (35?).
NBA TV has been showing the 1987 All-Star Game this morning — amazingly, Ronaldo Blackman and Renaldo Balkman could well be on my TV set during the same day. If there was any doubt that Tommy Heinson was an amazing color analyst, just try and calculate the amount of inspiration that went into dubbing Moses Malone, “Mr. Widebody”.
Via conduit Percy Allen of the Seattle Times, the Sonics have denied interest in the Planet’s Most Whipped Man, Doug Christie. If Doug and Jackie don’t have a new gig by Autumn, CSTB’s daily hit counts will surely be in the toilet.
“The kid can score,” one Eastern Conference executive said. “He was the MVP in Europe the last two years.”
Parker, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound swingman who played for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel the last two years, is interested in returning to the NBA.
Besides Cleveland, Toronto and a handful of other teams are interested in his services. The 31-year-old was outstanding against the Raptors in a preseason game last October. He had 24 points and scored the game-winning basket.
Sources say he could ask for a three-year contract worth more than $10 million to return to the U.S. He’s still under contract with Maccabi this season and would have to be bought out (teams can pay no more than $500,000 toward that contract).
The Cavaliers already have a glut of swingmen on their roster, including Sasha Pavlovic, Luke Jackson and Ira Newble. In addition, Stephen Graham, who will be playing for their summer-league team in Las Vegas – along with Pavlovic – is an unrestricted free agent.
The Celtics’ Paul Piece isn’t getting any younger, and you won’t be either, after reading The Truth’s comments to the Boston Globe’s Shira Springer.
“I think about [my legacy] all the time, probably more this year than other years,” said Pierce. “I realize I’m going into my ninth year and I’ve probably only got five or six years left to play. If I can just get that opportunity, to be on a team where I have a chance to compete for a championship, that’s all I can ask for. I guess the teams that I’ve been on pretty much my whole career we’ve been fighting just to get in the playoffs. I want the opportunity to go deep into the playoffs just to show people what I can do.”
When asked if he would leave the Celtics if the opportunity to compete for a championship doesn’t present
itself in the near future, Pierce said, “Maybe so, down the road. I’d definitely consider that. If I don’t see the opportunity in the near future, then maybe it’s my time. It’s hard to say. Everything right now is based on our potential. We’re one of the youngest teams in the NBA. I’m happy with the potential we have and I think those guys can be really good players, if not superstars in the NBA. My only thing is, how soon will they be good enough to win a championship? That is the veteran question that crosses my mind when I think about continuing my career as a Celtic and pursuit of being one of the best players.”
Last season, Pierce frequently said he wanted to retire a Celtic and see his No. 34 raised to the rafters. Downtime in LA this summer might have changed his perspective slightly. Plus, watching Walker win a championship with the Miami Heat also made Pierce think more critically about the direction of his career.
“You get a chance to come home and be around your family and I’ve got people coming at me from all type of sides,” said Pierce. “I’ve got people telling me this is what you need to do. A lot of people say,
`You need to be in LA, you won’t win a championship in Boston’ and `by the time y’all [in Boston] are ready, you’ll be retired.’ It does get to you at times and it’s something to think about.”