Things were a little awkward between Marcus Morris and the San Antonio Spurs this summer. Initially a deal was struck between Morris and Gregg Popovich’s team, but some hinky things went down and eventually Morris wound up signing with the New York Knicks.
At the heart of this back-and-forth was, of course, money. Popovich got a little dig into Morris’ side already this season, commenting that both the player and the Knicks acted in an unprofessional way.
Meanwhile, Morris is now an important cog for a New York team that carries more forwards than good sense. That’s motivated Knicks coach David Fizdale to praise Morris and his leadership early into the season.
“His leadership has been unbelievable,” Fizdale said. “I just didn’t know that about him going into it. I knew he was a tough guy, and I knew he could play. The way he’s been leading has just been really unbelievable. One of the better leaders I’ve been around in this game. The way he approaches the guys, the way he never goes off on the guys, he just always kind of calls it for what it is. He never does it where he’s pointing fingers. He always owns it first and then tries to make sure he’s leading the group.”
The Knicks need to find a way to cultivate young talent after missing out on big-time free agents this summer. Morris is a good locker room guy, and that’s why the Spurs wanted him. Perhaps his actions cast some doubt on whether he could be trusted long-term, but for now it appears that Fizdale is happy with how he has lead this team.
Of course, all that leadership hasn’t met much. As a publication, the Knicks are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference at 1-5.