Latest posts by Ben Stinar (see all)
- Exclusive: McCullough thriving overseas, still eyes NBA - August 14, 2019
- Source: Hawks’ Young leaves Team USA camp with eye injury - August 8, 2019
- Hawks’ Young has a ball hosting his first camp in Atlanta - July 27, 2019
Anthony Morrow is a nine-year NBA veteran who has a reputation for being a lethal shooter and an extremely likable teammate. For his teammates, Morrow’s opinion matters.
The 6-foot-5 shooting guard played nearly three years with the Oklahoma City Thunder (2014-17), and found the experience to be an extremely positive one.
That included Russell Westbrook, the Thunder point guard and former league MVP.
When asked if Westbrook is a winner, Morrow didn’t hesitate.
“Absolutely, 100 percent,” Morrow said in an interview with Amico Hoops. “He’s definitely a winner.”
Morrow also sees Westbrook as much more than just a point guard.
“I used to tell (Westbrook) and people in the organization, that he really doesn’t have a position,” said Morrow, who finished 2017 with the Chicago Bulls but is now a free agent.
“He’s really just a basketball player.”
Morrow compared Westbrook to former Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson, another once-in-a-generation talent. Iverson, of course, had a reputation for at times being polarizing.
“In (Westbrook’s) mind, and it was a little bit what AI was, he’s doing everything he can to win,” Morrow said. “You had to let AI be who he was.”
Westbrook won MVP in 2016 after averaging a triple-double for the entire season. Morrow thinks Westbrook should be right up there again this season.
“I think he’s got a chance to win MVP this year,” he said.
Morrow added that Westbrook’s killer-mentality on the court is not the Westbrook off the court.
“On the court, he’s one way. Off the court, one of the most humble guys I’ve been around in my life,” Morrow said.
“You wouldn’t even know he’s a superstar. My girl and his wife are very close. He’s always with family, his wife, his brother, or his dad and mom. Always around his family. I think that says a lot about him as a person. On the court, he just takes stuff really hard. If he doesn’t play to his standards, it’s almost like he let the team down.”
KD AND RUSS
During his tenure in Oklahoma City, Morrow also spent time with Kevin Durant and of course, Westbrook. Durant famously left for the Golden State Warriors in free agency … just a month or so after the Thunder lost to the Warriors in the Western Conference finals.
“I feel like they outgrew each other,” Morrow said of Westbrook and Durant. “They tried it for 10 years; they went to the Finals. I tell them all the time after the fact. … I think they just outgrew each other in terms of their personalities and their games.”
He added that Durant and Westbrook are back to being friends again, and the whole thing was never personal.
“You see how they communicate and interact now,” Morrow said. “It was never anything personal or some life stuff, and the media spun it to make it like this big beef.”
A lot has been made of the ultra-competitive Western Conference this season, and no one has been giving the current Thunder team a shot. But Morrow sees Westbrook as having the capability to take the Thunder far this season.
“I think they’ll go further in the playoffs than they went last season,” Morrow said. “They got a chance to make the Western Conference Finals. He’s got Paul (George), he’s got Steven Adams, I swear I really think that he definitely has a chance. It’s going to come down to if they can get past Golden State, or will Golden State break up. This year may be his best year to get back to the Finals.”
Along with the Thunder and Bulls, Morrow has spent time with the Warriors, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks.
He carries career averages of 9.4 points on 45-percent shooting — including 42-percent shooting on 3-pointers. has been an incredibly beloved player in every city in which he’s played. What are his plans for next season?
“Right now I’m waiting to see about (an NBA) camp,” he said, adding that he’s not opposed to playing overseas.
He also isn’t opposed to playing in Ice Cube’s league, the BIG3, in the future.
“Yeah, I think I would give that a shot, sure,” he said. “I think a lot of those players can still play in the NBA.”
As for now, Morrow is working plenty hard between his four kids, his new podcast with Justin Jack (brother of NBA guard Jarrett Jack), his clothing company and his philanthropic ventures.
Soon enough, he’ll be playing again somewhere, and watching and appreciating his friend Russell Westbrook and the Thunder.