Adam Morrison was a promising young prospect coming from Gonzaga University who some were even comparing to none other than Larry Bird. He was selected 3rd overall by The Charlotte Bobcats ahead of players like Brandon Roy, JJ Reddick, Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, and Paul Millsap. Morrison was the first player MJ ever drafted in a front office/owner role.
Although being selected so early in the draft, his career didn’t progress the way he and his team had hoped. He spent 3 years in Charlotte before being traded to the Lakers in 2009. He was a part of the Lakers roster that won back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010 but didn’t see much playing time.
Morrison was a teammate of Kobe Bryant in those years, and even though the two didn’t spend much time on the floor together, former Gonzaga superstar has many memories of The Black Mamba. One particular Kobe-involving memory left a mark on him, because it came in a difficult time for Morrison, right after being released from the Lakers roster and not being able to find another NBA job. Morrison recently made an appearance on Rejecting The Screen Podcast and shared a story about how Kobe helped him during his tough times.
“I wasn’t playing, obviously, and my career was in the s— and my personal life wasn’t great, I was really depressed. I was basically a hermit in my own house. I didn’t go out in the community at all and if I did, people were asking ‘Why aren’t you playing?’ I was 26 at the time, number three pick, a really low point in my life, and I got a text from Robert Lara, the Lakers security and one of Kobe’s best friends. He said ‘Hey, what’s your address, I’ve got something in the mail for you.’ I get the package, and it’s an autographed jersey from Didier Drogba, who was my favorite player. I’m a Chelsea fan. It was from Kobe. A game-worn jersey, signed by Didier Drogba, ‘To Adam, Best Wishes.’”Adam Morrison, Rejecting The Screen Podcast
Morrison said that he always thought that Kobe had made a phone call to acquire the signed Drogba jersey to give to him. He found out what really happened while scrolling through social media the night Bryant and his daughter were tragically killed in a helicopter crash.
“The night he passed, I’m scrolling through, reading everything, and I’m emotional. And on Chelsea’s Instagram page, it’s him with Didier Drogba holding up a jersey, and it says ‘To Adam, Best Wishes.’ So he went up to my favorite player, got it signed for me without me even asking, and sent it to me when he knew I was low. It’s unbelievable. I still have the jersey. That’s what Kobe Bryant was, man. He was just one of those dudes who understood his own aura and could sense when people were down.”Adam Morrison, Rejecting The Screen Podcast
Morrison also talked about Kobe as a basketball player, how he was tenacious on the floor, and always played hard and competed and how he demanded him to do the same. He also mentioned that Bryant immediately made him feel welcome on the Lakers and always publicly defended him.
Kobe’s death shocked the world and is still hard to fathom. However, what he did on the floor while wearing purple and gold, and gestures like this one are the reason why Kobe will continue to inspire people to achieve greatness in their lives, no matter what their aspirations are.