EL SEGUNDO >> This time past calendar year when the Lakers arrived contacting, Markieff Morris determined to go to Oklahoma Town.
At the time, the Thunder experienced superior playoff prospects. Morris did not seriously fancy himself a Hollywood-sort person. The Lakers missed the playoffs, and the Thunder bounced out soon after one particular spherical.
This calendar year, the Lakers stayed in contact, far too, and were being ready to pounce as Morris turned out there on the buyout marketplace yet again soon after his quick stint in Detroit. They’re the No. 1 Western crew this calendar year, but possibly Markieff was a lot more interested when he observed his twin brother Marcus experienced just been traded to the Clippers?
“I think it experienced a tiny bit to do with it,” he stated with a grin. “Both of us are heading to be competing for a championship and I think we each obtained a superior shot and I was psyched when he arrived to the Clippers and was a lot more psyched when I arrived to the Lakers.”
Morris’ 1st shootaround with his new crew arrived Tuesday, two times soon after he formally signed with the Lakers. The 6-foot-8 ahead will be lively against the New Orleans Pelicans, but Frank Vogel stated if he does perform, it will be reasonably light-weight minutes as he makes an attempt to blend in with just 27 games remaining.
Morris stated he was “leaning” towards one more unnamed crew before ultimately heading with the Lakers. The journeyman who has also played in Phoenix and Washington is averaging a vocation-most effective 39.7 % shooting from 3-level array although averaging 11 points and 3.9 rebounds.
The Lakers see him as a wing and occasional significant who can give their lineups a lot more flexibility. And Morris is recreation for that role.
“Me personally, I’m just making an attempt to be the ‘X-factor’ that’s desired,” he stated. “Whatever is desired out of me, I want to occur in and offer.”
Morris stated he believes in lesser lineups, he could perform 4 or five, letting Kyle Kuzma — who has struggled to come across a suit at times this calendar year — to perform a lot more small ahead. LeBron James stated he views Morris as bringing “toughness” and working experience, “a person who can enable us proper away.”
Frank Vogel thinks Morris’ addition will give the roster a ton a lot more unique appears to be to toss at likely postseason opponents.
“All of our wings have a little unique skillsets, with defensive match-ups, offensive skillsets and what they are ready to do,” he stated. “And he just rounds us out a tiny bit a lot more and adds that sort of depth that could enable us down the extend in some of these playoff sequence we’re hoping to be in.”
His 1st working day of do the job was unconventional: Morris traveled to downtown L.A. with other customers of the crew, rapidly currently being steeped in the Kobe Bryant tragedy that has enveloped the corporation with grief. Morris’ selection was 8 in Detroit, and he improved it to 88 for the Lakers, who retired Bryant’s jersey. As a Philadelphia native, Morris stated, Bryant experienced a ton of particular that means.
There is, of system, the exclusive aspect of possessing his brother in Los Angeles taking part in for a rival crew. Marcus stated when Markieff was 1st rumored to be landing with the Lakers that he imagined currently being at Staples Center “all the time” to watch him perform, and that they could be roommates.
Markieff was considerably less demonstrably gung-ho about the thought, but stated they were being speaking about it.
“It’s very cool, guy,” he stated. “We could live alongside one another. We’re making an attempt to figure that out now. But it is gonna be very cool, guy. Get to expend a ton of time with my family. We’ve been aside for a although, so whichever time we get to expend alongside one another is a superior time.”
The Lakers also experienced DeMarcus Cousins, who was waived Sunday, in the observe facility for rehab. Vogel stated he would be permitted to proceed coming back again from his ACL personal injury with the Lakers, but just cannot sit on the bench or vacation with the crew now that he’s off the roster.
LeBron James praises Vanessa Bryant’s address in memorial
It is unclear if LeBron James was at Staples Center on Monday for the Celebration of Lifetime for Kobe and Gianna Bryant. Cameras did not present him, at minimum one particular teammate, Jared Dudley, stated he did not see him on an ESPN podcast, and James himself did not answer the concern when requested immediately no matter whether he attended.
But he absolutely did watch, and he stated what he observed from Vanessa Bryant stirred him.
“One issue I can occur out of it expressing is how strong and how daring and how impressive Vanessa is,” he stated. “To stand up there the way she did, to give that speech the way she gave that speech. I commend her. My coronary heart his with their family nevertheless, with his three daughters that are nevertheless here.”
James stated he expended Monday, “emotionally a wreck, like anyone else,” and has stated a lot more not too long ago that the scenario has been tough to talk about. While he was moved by the terms shared on Monday, he stated, he stated the memorial did not indicate that the Lakers were being ready to shift on.
“It’s in no way heading to be a closure,” he stated. “I indicate, we proceed to live on his legacy and proceed to have our hearts hefty with each disappointment and with joy for his family that are nevertheless here. So, it is not a closure. But it was a celebration which was very well received from not only the Laker faithful, not only the family here, but all people about the planet.”