In the middle of last season, the Los Angeles Lakers brought in Markieff Morris after he was bought out by the Detroit Pistons. The veteran forward became an extremely important piece of last year’s championship team and stepped up in a big way this season while the team was without their superstars due to injury.
Of course, the story of this season not just with the Lakers, but across the entire NBA, was the effect the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had on everything going on this year. Obviously injuries became an issue, but players had to deal with daily protocols and testing, empty arenas for much of the season, and tons of unknowns that made this season unlike any other.
Following the Lakers’ disappointing end to the year, Morris had his way of describing this season. “This has been, I wouldn’t call it stressful, oh yeah, matter of fact, I’m gonna call it stressful. This has been a stressful year with that COVID shit,” Morris said. “A lot of guys in this league, a majority of the guys in this league are mentally tough so we were able to go through it because we love the game, we love being able to provide for our families. So it was like a sacrifice that we made but this has been the toughest year of my career in terms of playing basketball.
“I almost played two seasons in one year with having the break and all that s*** then the bubble, then only having about a month or so to prepare after coming off a championship just to play every other day. It showed for us, we had a lot of injuries.”
The Lakers were decimated with injuries this season and it is hard not to point to the quick turnaround from last season, the fastest in NBA history, as a reason why this occurred. Morris noted his disappointment in the finish to the season as he had such a high belief in this team.
“I always throughout the year, through injuries, through the pandemic, whatever it was, I always had this positive mindset about our team because I knew I truly believed in our ability, I truly believed that we were gonna win the title again this year. It’s tough, man,” the veteran added.
If there is a positive, it is that the Lakers will now have some time to get away and get the rest they were unable to get in the last offseason. For Morris, it’s a necessity.
“I think for me to be able to reset, I have to go somewhere, cut my phone off and really just like take a step back because I played almost nonstop for two seasons, the entire team has,” Morris said. “We haven’t been able to get a break and me at 31 with my contract situation, there was no time for me to take off. I had to come back and show that I was ready to play without an offseason… It was tough.”
Morris describes watching brother win Game 7 for Clippers at Staples Center
Regardless of how frustrated he is about his own season ending, Morris would never allow that to prevent him from supporting his twin brother Marcus Morris. The two are extremely close and Markieff was back at Staples Center to watch Marcus knock down seven 3-pointers in the Clippers’ Game 7 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
Markieff admitted to feeling ‘sick’ at being inside Staples Center just days after his own season ended, but wanted to support his brother. For his part, Marcus credited his brother for giving him sound advice to help him succeed in a huge playoff victory.
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