HoopsHype Darius Morris rumors

July 2, 2012 Updates
June 29, 2012 Updates
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May 23, 2012 Updates

Meanwhile, Morris enters this off-season wanting to use the summer league, which goes from July 13-22 in Las Vegas, to impress two parties. One involves the Lakers, where he averaged 2.4 points on 42.9% shooting in 8.9 points per game his rookie season. One involves other NBA teams, which Morris hopes would walk away impressed enough to grant him a larger role. "I love it here in L.A," Morris said Wednesday following his exit interview at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo. "But being a young player, it's really important to be somewhere where you feel like you have an opportunity to play and get to grow on the court, most importantly. Little things like that will be a factor. We'll see what happens." Los Angeles Times

As most players, rookie Darius Morris would like to return to the Lakers next season. But he also covets playing time, something he saw little of during his first NBA season. To improve his chances, Morris is planning to play in the NBA Summer League in July. “An expanded role is not impossible,” he said during his exit interview Wednesday. Morris, who averaged 8.9 minutes in 19 games, caught a break when point guard Steve Blake suffered a rib injury and saw his minutes increase significantly. He would like a bigger role next season, but knows he needs to improve. “Being on the bench, you lean a lot from the other point guards,” he said, adding that he learned quite a bit from watching Kobe Bryant. “I didn’t really expect us to be as close as we got, but it happened. … Off the court we became good friends,” Morris said. Orange County Register

Yet it was Metta World Peace who provided the most support, especially to the younger players. “Metta was great all year,” he said. “People don’t get to see what a great teammate he is. A lot of times, he will bite his tongue so the team will flow. … He tries to keep the team together. “Even when he wasn’t playing (during suspension) he was encouraging the young players, telling us to stay ready.” Orange County Register

April 12, 2012 Updates

Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris didn't get a chance to participate in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas last year because it was canceled in the wake of the lockout, but the rookie guards could be headed there when it resumes July 13-22. "We haven't really thought of summer league yet," Brown said. "Naturally, Goudelock and Morris (would be candidates). I don't know about anybody else. Obviously, for the two rookies, it would be great for them." Los Angeles Daily News

January 24, 2012 Updates

Lakers Coach Mike Brown publicly pushed for the NBA to review a non-call on Blake Griffin's push of Lakers rookie guard Darius Morris late in the first quarter of the Lakers' 102-94 loss Jan. 14 to the Clippers. Nine days later, he said the league informed him of something that assuaged his initial irritation. "I don't know if they gave it to him or not," Brown said, "but the league said Blake should've gotten at least a technical for pushing [Morris]." Los Angeles Times

January 22, 2012 Updates

Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock took different routes to the NBA, but they find themselves in the same position these days. Morris grew up in Los Angeles and was recruited by a number of college programs before landing at Michigan. Goudelock grew up in Georgia and received just one scholarship offer, from Charleston, but put together a stellar college career. Now, Morris and Goudelock are living the dream as rookies for the Los Angeles Lakers. Neither expected to be picked by the Lakers on draft night, but both are thrilled to don purple and gold. HoopsWorld

“I knew from the jump that they really liked me and that they were looking at me, but I didn’t know if I was going to be around for pick number 41,” Morris told HOOPSWORLD. “I didn’t really know where I was going to go on draft night. Looking back on it, I wouldn’t want to be any other place. I’m happy that they drafted me.” “I didn’t see it coming either,” Goudelock said. “Just like him, I didn’t know if I would be around for pick number 46, but my window was a little bit bigger than his. I could’ve gone anywhere from the 20’s to the 50’s so I didn’t really know. I was just waiting around to see what was going to happen, but luckily I got picked by one of the best organizations in the game. They’re first class. They do everything first class. This is about business here, it’s all about winning. You can really see that is the focus of every guy through his work ethic. You can just tell that the tradition around here is winning. It’s win or go home for us every day and I like the situation.” HoopsWorld

What has been the biggest surprise for each rookie? “The biggest shock is probably just how good everybody is out there on that floor,” Morris said. “Not just offensively, but in terms of defense and being able to cover spots so quickly with their length and athletic ability. It’s a little bit different than college.” “Guys are way taller, way longer, way faster and the pace of the game is different,” Goudelock said. “Also, I’m still getting used to the three seconds in the key. The game is totally different from college, just about every aspect of the game – defensively, offensively, the concepts – everything is different. I kind of knew what to expect, but once you start going through it, it still catches you by surprise. Everything is a learning process.” HoopsWorld

January 17, 2012 Updates

Unfortunately Steve got hurt that very game and Morris has quickly become the team’s second point guard. Fellow rookie Andrew Goudelock has made eight appearances for the Lakers but Coach Mike Brown has been clear that he only feels Goudelock is suitable in the role of off-guard. That means it’s Fisher and Morris for about 48 combined a night, a far cry from the inactives and DNP-CDs that Darius was racking up to start the season. “Patience, Patience is something I kept telling myself, especially being a rookie on a veteran-led team like this on the Lakers,” said Morris. “Their track record of relying on rookies to come in and play a lot of minutes is not really deep so you can’t get frustrated, you just have to control what you can control.” HoopsWorld

Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said he is aware that Lakers Coach Mike Brown wants the NBA to review power forward Blake Griffin's two-handed shove of Lakers guard Darius Morris late in the first quarter of Saturday night's game. Del Negro said Griffin's act was not "malicious." Morris was going up for a dunk during a dead ball after being fouled by point guard Chris Paul when Griffin extended both hands and pushed the Lakers rookie while he was in the air. Los Angeles Times

January 16, 2012 Updates

Lakers coach Mike Brown has asked the NBA to review the Clippers' Blake Griffin's shove of Lakers rookie Darius Morris near the end of the first quarter of Saturday's game. With 17 seconds left in the opening quarter, Chris Paul fouled Morris on his way to the basket. Morris didn't stop and continued to fly toward the basket after the referee had blown the whistle. Griffin then used both hands to shove Morris while he was in the air. No foul was called on Griffin, sending Brown into a rage. The Lakers coach had to be restrained by two assistants and received a technical foul with the Clippers holding a 27-19 lead. Orange County Register

A visibly perturbed Brown had to be restrained by assistants Chuck Person and John Kuester from coming onto the court, earning the coach a technical foul. "I acted the way I did because I did think it was wrong and I got a technical and hopefully it brought some light to what happened, but you hate giving up a point," said Brown, who apologized to his players at halftime. Brown said officials told him it was acceptable to push a player in the air "as long as he doesn't get hurt or doesn't look like he's going to get hurt." Los Angeles Times

January 15, 2012 Updates

Brown said he apologized to the team at halftime for drawing a technical foul (and giving the Clippers a point) for arguing no technical foul was called on Blake Griffin for his contact to Lakers rookie Darius Morris, who got shoved by Griffin while trying to make a post-whistle dunk. Said Brown: “I thought the play was dangerous. The rookie was in the air. … I lost my cool.” Orange County Register

December 22, 2011 Updates
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November 30, 2011 Updates

It remains unclear how the Lakers' roster will look now up through their season opener Christmas Day against the Chicago Bulls. The Lakers have plenty of unsigned players, including Shannon Brown, Devin Ebanks, Derrick Caracter, Joe Smith and Theo Ratliff. They can exercise the so-called amnesty clause by shedding ties with Metta World Peace (three years, $21.5 million) or Luke Walton (two years, $11.46 million). Free agency beginning on Dec. 9 will also contribute to the frantic environment leading to opening day. Still, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak told The Times' Mike Bresnahan that both rookies Darius Morris and Goudelock "probably deserve a chance to be looked at, and [they] have promise." Los Angeles Times

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