Monday, December 19, 2005

Adam Morrison = Larry Bird?

With seconds left and his team down one, Adam Morrison dribbled right, rose up from beyond the three-point line, and banked the ball high off the backboard. Impossibly, the shot fell through without touching rim, giving Gonzaga a dramatic win.
"Larry Bird, baby!" croaked CBS color man Bill Raftery rapturously. "It felt like guarding Larry Bird,"
agreed Oklahoma State's Marcus Dove.
Morrison leads college basketball in scoring. He's a 6-foot-8 white guy with floppy hair and a crustache. He's got Type 1 diabetes, which is the rough medical equivalent of
growing up in French Lick, Ind. And if that weren't enough, the kid hung a Bird poster in his freshman dorm room. Ladies and gentleman, introducing Adam Morrison—your next "next Larry Bird."

My friend Pat alerted me to an interesting article in about the Adam Morrison/Larry Bird comparison. However, the article is much more about how overrated Larry Bird was than how good Adam Morrison is. Yes, Morrison is great, leading the nation in scoring. The article notes, though, that, often, a comparison to Bird is a one-way ticket to Palookaville.

Want proof that getting compared to Bird is a one-way ticket to the Caucasian basketball graveyard? A list of players who've been identified as Bird-like reads like the roster of a CBA team sponsored by the KKK. There are the Dukies: Danny Ferry, Mike Dunleavy Jr., and Christian Laettner (according to Charles Barkley, "the only thing Christian Laettner has in common with Larry Bird is they both pee standing up"). There are the guys whose main qualification was playing college ball in the Midwest: Troy Murphy and Wally Szczerbiak ("a Larry Bird game, a Tom Cruise smile," one scribe said). There's the inexplicable: Australian Andrew Gaze. And the monstrously, hilariously inexplicable: center Eric Montross, whom Celtics exec M.L. Carr said was cut from the same cloth as the Birdman.

Read the entire article here.

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