Who is Anthony Morrow? Well, prior to November 15th he was an undrafted rookie by Golden State averaging an unspectacular 7.7 points for the guard depleted Warriors in about 13 minutes of burn per contest.
The 6’5″ Georgia Tech product averaged 14.3 points and 4.1 boards in his senior campaign, hitting 44.8% of his three-point attempts.
On the 15th, however, while searching for answers at guard with Baron Davis jetting to the cross state Clippers, Monta Ellis out for months and even Marcus Williams and rookie DeMarcus Nelson not available to play, Don Nelson inserted Morrow into the starting line up versus Davis’ lowly Los Angeles squad. Forty-eight minutes later Morrow had hit four of five from downtown on route to a 37-point and 11-rebound performance.
The 37 points is the most ever by an undrafted rookie in a single game.
For an encore Morrow dropped in 25 points, again hitting four of his five attempts from downtown. Assuming position as the league’s three-point percentage leader and jumping from obscurity right into the No. 4 position on Dave McMenamin’s Rookie Rankings for the season, Morrow had arrived.
Don Nelson proclaimed him “the real deal” and he appeared poised to solidify his position in the starting rotation. Nellie was more than content with his team’s small ball, college style rotation with Corey Maggette playing power forward and the Warriors looked at their best since the birth of the season with two straight wins.
How quickly things change. After his next two outings (both losses) in which he scored a combined 13 points on three of six shooting from downtown, Morrow’s 15 minutes of fame appear to be over. With Jamal Crawford joining the team before their next game, Morrow will more than likely be regulated to the bench where he’ll play behind the talented former Knick.
Minutes will still be available, but with defenses now keying in on him, the wide open threes that he was allowed in his first two starts will disappear. Then with the slew of injured players returning to the line as the season progresses Morrow will need to show great efficiency to even garner rotation time.
The player who so recently was deemed Chris Mullin’s gem seems destined to return to mediocrity. Still, November 15th will remain in the NBA record books as the greatest performance by an undrafted rookie in the history of the league. Not bad use of the Charlotte, North Carolina kid’s 15 minutes of fame if you ask me.