I’m a former NBA first-round pick and a two-time champion, but my life is completely different now
EX-GONZAGA star Adam Morrison couldn’t play basketball as long as he could.
The two-time NBA champion made just 161 association appearances in his short-lived career, struggling with diabetes and serious injuries.
But the former No. 3 doesn’t need the glitz of the NBA lifestyle to enjoy his life.
“I’m kind of a boring guy,” Morrison told The Athletic. “I’m like a typical football dad.”
Morrison excelled at Gonzaga despite the diabetes diagnosis he received while at school.
The 6-foot-1 forward with the signature mustache and bushy hair averaged 19.7 points and 5.1 rebounds in three seasons with the Bulldogs and was named NCAA Player of the Year before being drafted in 2006 .
He then became the first player drafted by Michael Jordan after taking over NBA icon Charlotte Bobcats and recorded a solid 11.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists in his rookie year.
But Morrison suffered a season-ending ACL injury just before the start of his second NBA season, marking the beginning of the end of his basketball career.
The 1.80m tall forward did not find a place under newly hired head coach Larry Brown after he returned to the pitch in 2008/09.
Having arrived in the NBA before the 3-Point Revolution, Morrison’s dependable outside shooting didn’t help him land a significant role with the Los Angeles Lakers after being traded to the City of Angels on February 7, 2009.
Morrison won back-to-back championships with the Lakers but only managed 285 minutes in 39 games during his year-and-a-half stint in Los Angeles.
The forward then spent 2012 pre-season with the Portland Trail Blazers after two years in Serbia and Turkey.
However, the Blazers waived him after about a month in what would be Morrison’s final attempt at an NBA comeback.
He now works as an assistant coach at Mead High School in Spokane, Washington, where he attended at the time, and is a color commentator for the men’s basketball radio show Gonzaga.
And having wisely invested the $17 million he earned in the NBA, the ex-Bulldogs star looks back on his playing days with no regrets.
“I was upset for a while with how my career was going,” Morrison told The Athletic.
“Of course I sometimes wish I would still play. But I’m not like, ‘Aw damn, I screwed that up and I work at Costco.’
“People expect me to be penniless or something. I don’t live a flamboyant lifestyle – I don’t need to party every weekend or have an apartment in Miami. I’m lucky I saved my money.”
Morrison isn’t looking too far into the future either, just trying to enjoy raising his three kids, golfing, and playing arcades.
“I don’t really have a long-term plan,” he said. “Just be alive I guess.”