Marcus Morris, a 33-year-old, 12-year NBA veteran, gave a shoutout to his alma mater, the University of Kansas, earlier this week at Los Angeles Clippers Media Day.
This time his name-dropping of KU involved Jayhawks football as well as hoops.
Asked by a reporter if he had “any thoughts on Kansas football,” Morris said: “Hey, hey, 4-0, man. We’re going. They’re doing a great job over there. I think it started with us just winning a championship in basketball, and it just carried over. You know how that goes. It’s that winning effect.”
The Jayhawks, of course, won the national title in men’s basketball last April. KU’s football team is 4-0 heading into Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. home game against Iowa State.
Morris, 33, is about to begin his third full season with the Clippers. He’s also played for Houston, Phoenix, Detroit, Boston and New York.
Asked how he spent the past offseason, Morris said: “I was chasing my sons around. I’ve got a 4-year old and a 2-year old. They’re active, very active, so I was up early. That’s how I started my workout every morning, so that was pretty cool for me.”
Morris’ right knee has bothered him on the court in the past.
“I worked on my flexibility, stayed in shape, worked on my knee a lot. This is the best I’ve felt in a long time,” Morris said. “I’m just excited. I’m going to be the best three-point shooter in the league this year, one of the best leaders, and just excited to help the team.”
He noted that it was “one of the longest offseasons I’ve had in my career, honestly. I think it really, really helped me. I feel like I had some time to think and got my body a rest. I feel good.”
Markieff Morris is a ‘tough guy’
Marcus’ brother, Markieff, also proved a popular interview this week at his Brooklyn Nets Media Day.
Former KU forward Markieff, who signed with the Nets this offseason after playing sparingly with the Miami Heat a year ago, had a lighthearted exchange with a reporter who prefaced a question to the 33-year old Morris: “You’ve kind of picked up a reputation as an enforcer, kind of a tough guy.”
Morris interrupted: “Kind of a tough guy?”
The reporter continued: “A very tough guy, excuse me … what shapes that toughness?”
“Philly,” said Markieff Morris, who like Marcus, hails from Philadelphia. “That’s where I’m from. I’ve always had that chip on my shoulder, (it’s) just my nature, man. I was just telling a guy (reporter), ‘Off the court I’m two totally different people, but on the court once it’s time, it’s time.’’’
Markieff, who like Marcus played at KU three seasons (2009-11) has played in the NBA for Phoenix, Washington, Oklahoma City, Detroit, the Los Angeles Lakers (where he won an NBA title in 2020) and Miami.
Nets coach Steve Nash had this to say to the New York Post about the team’s acquisition of Markieff: “It’s great to bring a veteran like that into our group, someone with experience and toughness. He’s been deep in the playoffs and done a lot of things that can help our group as you navigate everything that comes at you during the season.”
He says the 6-foot-9, 245-pound Morris will play the 5-spot.
“Markieff is a need for us, his presence, his personality. He has a voice, he has an experience, he has an understanding of the game. That’s a need. We need guys that can speak to the group. … They understand the game. They’ve been there before. Those tools aren’t easy to come by. He has all those things,” Nash said.
Devon Dotson signs with Wizards
Former KU guard Devon Dotson, 23, has signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Washington Wizards, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who wrote on Twitter that Dotson is “expected to compete for the Wizards’ open two-way slot (playing for both the Wizards and the G League’s Capital City Go-Go).”
Exhibit 10 contracts are one-year deals worth the minimum salary. They are not guaranteed, but can include an optional bonus ranging from $5K to $50K.
Dotson, who played at KU from 2018-20, is in his third year as a professional. He played in 11 games for the Chicago Bulls in 2021-22, averaging 2.6 points and 1.4 assists a game in limited duty.
Dotson was waived by the Bulls in January of 2022. Prior to being cut he averaged 21.0 points and 6.9 assists per game in 25 games for the Windy City Bulls of the G League.
He suited up for the Washington Wizards’ Summer League team in July in Las Vegas.
The Wizards actually are in need of help at point guard. Monte Morris and Delon Wright are the top two guards on the depth chart. Dotson reportedly will compete with Quenton Jackson and Jordan Goodwin for two-way deals.