Marcus David Morris (born September 2, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The 6'9" forward played college basketball at Kansas before being drafted 14th overall by the Houston Rockets in the 2011 NBA draft.
Morris enrolled at the University of Kansas where he majored in American studies. He was named the 2010–11 Big 12 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year. He also was named a second team All-American for his play in the 2010–11 basketball season by both the Associated Press and the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and a third team All-America by Fox Sports. On March 30, 2011, Morris was named to the ten member John R. Wooden Award Men’s All American team. Morris and his brother signed with a sports agent from Los Angeles, and announced that they would enter the 2011 NBA draft.
Houston Rockets (2011–2013)
Morris was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 14th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, five minutes directly after his brother Markieff was taken with the 13th pick by the Phoenix Suns. He was assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League on January 2, 2012. In his first game in the D-League on January 6, 2012, Morris recorded 33 points and 16 rebounds in a narrow 105–103 loss to the Dakota Wizards. Morris returned to the Rockets on January 16, was reassigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on February 3, and returned to the Rockets again on February 20.
After an injury to Patrick Patterson, Rockets head coach Kevin McHale named Morris the opening day starter at power forward for the 2012–13 season. When told he would be starting, Morris thought that McHale was kidding, since he rarely played his rookie season and was hurt during the preseason. During the course of the season, Morris was the backup power forward to Patterson, and started 17 games while Patterson was injured. His three-point shot was much improved from his rookie season, more than tripling the percentage from 12% to 38%.
Phoenix Suns (2013–2015)
On February 21, 2013, Morris was traded to the Phoenix Suns, reuniting him with his twin brother. A day later, he played his first game with his brother in the last 6 minutes of a loss to the Boston Celtics, as he recorded 7 points, 2 steals, and a rebound during that period of time, despite having no formal training from the Suns before entering the game. This marked the second time that twin brothers played for the same NBA team; Dick and Tom Van Arsdale played together with the Suns as well during the 1976–77 season. On March 1, 2013, Morris scored 16 points to help the Suns defeat the Atlanta Hawks 92–87. He made four out of five three-point field goal attempts. He went on to start alongside Markieff on March 10, 2013 against his former team, the Rockets, which made the Morris twins the first set of twin brothers to ever start for the same NBA team.
On September 29, 2014, Morris signed a multi-year contract extension with the Suns. In the Suns' 2014–15 season opener on October 29, 2014, Morris recorded 21 points in the 119–99 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. During the Suns' January 7 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Morris received a technical foul and was caught on national TV berating head coach Jeff Hornacek about the situation. It resulted in Morris not playing for the rest of the game. His other antics during his final season with the Suns and afterwards, though, led to AZCentral.com labeling him one of Arizona's biggest sports villains.
On February 6, 2015, Morris recorded his first career double-double with career-highs of 34 points and 12 rebounds in a 100–93 win over the Utah Jazz. His double-double off the bench marked him as just the second player after Brook Lopez in 2014–15 to record a 30-point, 10-rebound game off the bench. In addition, the last Suns player to do it was Danny Manning in 1997. In a game against the Dallas Mavericks on March 22, the Morris twins both had double-doubles in the same game for the first time in their professional careers.
Detroit Pistons (2015–2017)
On July 9, 2015, Morris was traded to the Detroit Pistons, along with Reggie Bullock and Danny Granger, in exchange for a 2020 second-round draft pick. He made his debut for the Pistons on October 27, 2015 in the team's season opener against the Atlanta Hawks. In 37 minutes of action as a starter, he recorded 18 points and 10 rebounds in a 106–94 win. On April 1, 2016, he scored a season-high 31 points in a 98–89 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. The Pistons finished the regular season as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference with a 44–38 record, earning a playoff berth for the first time since 2009. However, in their first-round series against the first-seeded, eventual champion Cleveland Cavaliers, the Pistons were swept 4–0.
On February 3, 2017, Morris scored a career-high 36 points in a 116–108 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Later that month, on February 28, Morris set a new career high with 37 points in a 120–113 overtime win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Boston Celtics (2017–present)
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
On February 26, 2012, after seeing the final Border War basketball match between Kansas and Missouri, Morris and another assailant named Julius K. Harris received battery charges for punching a man that was an employee for a bar and nightclub in Lawrence, Kansas called The Cave. Both Morris and Harris entered a diversion agreement for the battery charge, with Marcus paying a $300 diversion fee and $60 for court case fees, as well as agreeing not to come in contact with both the victim and The Cave for an entire year.
On January 24, 2015, both Marcus and Markieff Morris found themselves involved with two aggravated assault cases as five different men (including the twins and former Baltimore Ravens safety Gerald Bowman) allegedly assaulted a 36-year-old man named Eric Hood outside of the Nina Mason Pulliam Recreation Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Hood had previously mentored the Morris twins from high school until the end of their college careers, while the brothers wound up beating Hood up for "sending an inappropriate text message" to their mother. While the case against the Morris brothers was first set up on August 3, 2015; the trial for the twins concluded on October 3, 2017, with the twins and Gerald Bowman considered not guilty, while the other two people involved with the assault (Julius Kane and Christopher Melendez Jr.) confessing their guilt on September 2017. Despite their apparent innocence, the incident was not only considered a catalyst for the Suns trading Marcus to the Pistons on July 9, 2015; but it was also one of the reasons why the Suns eventually traded his twin brother to the Washington Wizards over eight months later on February 18, 2016.
Morris' twin brother, Markieff, is seven minutes older than him. He is a fan of his hometown Philadelphia Eagles while his twin brother is a fan of the rival Dallas Cowboys. His nickname is "Mook".
He and Markieff, alongside former teammates Goran and Zoran Dragić, all briefly played together for the Suns during the fourth quarter of their 112–96 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on January 2, 2015. It marked the first time in the NBA's history that two different pairs of brothers played together for the same team at the same time.