Anthony Morrow on 3-point contest

Greetings-

I spoke late last week with New Jersey Nets guard and former Georgia Tech star Anthony Morrow, primarily about his selection to the 3-point contest at the NBA All-Star game this weekend in Orlando. You may know that Morrow was undrafted out of Tech and made the Golden State Warriors roster in 2008 as a rookie free agent. He scored 37 points in his first start – the most ever by an undrafted rookie in his first start – and ended up leading the league in 3-point shooting at 46.7 percent.

After two seasons, he was traded to New Jersey and signed a three-year deal worth $12 million. He is virtually tied for second in NBA career 3-point shooting percentage with Golden State’s Stephen Curry at 44.1 percent.

1. Despite finishing in the top 10 in 3-point shooting percentage in his first three seasons, this is his first 3-point contest. Morrow didn’t hide his excitement over the honor.

When his agent called to tell him he’d been chosen, “I had to stay calm, but I was excited,” he said. “I was thinking about watching (the contest) every single year since I was a kid. To be there, it’s going to be great.”

When he played in the rookie-sophomore game two years ago, Morrow said, “I made sure I was front and center for the 3-point contest. I was right there in the front row.”

Morrow said to prepare, the team was going to order ball racks for him to practice the contest format.

“It’s not that hard,” he said. “It’s just a matter of getting used to it, going around and being patient.”

2. An online betting site lists Morrow as one of two favorites to win Saturday at 5/2 odds. Orlando’s Ryan Anderson is the other.

“I’ve heard that,” he said. “That’s crazy. That’s an honor in itself. I never would have h thought in my wildest dreams that I would be in the NBA 3-point contest.”

He said he planned to talk to Tech alumnus Dennis Scott, who was in two 3-point contests, for advice. Mark Price, who won two of the four contests he was in and now coaches with the Orlando Magic, would be another source of wisdom.

(Unrelated, but former Tech guard Iman Shumpert is reportedly out of the slam dunk contest so he can rest a knee injury. However, former Tech forward Derrick Favors has been added to the Rising Stars Challenge – the rookie-sophomore game.)

3. Morrow has stayed grounded despite the contract, realizing how transient an NBA career can be. He thinks about the start of his career, when he was living out of a suitcase in a hotel at Warriors training camp, wondering if he would get cut.

“Every day,” he said. “I’m not too far removed. I’ve got to keep myself humble and keep a chip on my shoulder every day.”

He finds inspiration in Boston Celtics great Ray Allen, who has been one of the top shooters in the league for 15 seasons.

He said he shoots before and after practice, going around the horn and back with mid-range jumpers and then 3-pointers, making between 10 and 15 shots at each spot.

Said Morrow, “I don’t want to be a guy that shot well for a couple seasons.”

4. I asked him about something I’d read, that he’d considered leaving Tech to find a job to support his mother. He said it pained him to see his mother working multiple jobs while he couldn’t provide for her. She talked him out of it.

“She was like, Just go to school. That’s your job. That’s all I need you to do, go somewhere, make something of yourself,” he said.

5. Morrow on the Tech team:

“They’re young, struggling a little bit, but I really like Coach (Brian) Gregory and his staff. They’re going to be fine. He’s a great coach. I spent a lot of time over at Tech working out and watching the team this past summer. They’re going to be good. It’s his first year, so he’s got to get everything like he wants to get it. Once he does it, it’s going to be great.”

6. On Nets owner, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov:

“He’s cool. We don’t talk a lot, not a man of many words, but a really laidback guy. Not afraid to let you know that he’s got a lot of money. He’s a cool dude.”

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

18 comments Add your comment

00Burdell

February 22nd, 2012
11:35 am

TG

February 22nd, 2012
11:40 am

“Not afraid to let you know that he’s got a lot of money”

Liked that one. Thanks for the post Ken.

FL Jacket

February 22nd, 2012
11:59 am

Is Prokhorov the guy in the DirectTV commercials?

“Money? I has it…”

Wrecker

February 22nd, 2012
12:06 pm

This success could not have happened for a greater, or more hard working, buy. Congrats Anthony!

Wrecker

February 22nd, 2012
12:07 pm

GT_MAN

February 22nd, 2012
12:16 pm

Love the bit about mamma… I’m guessing she doesn’t have to work those extra job anymore. ;) Good luck, we’re rooting for you!

jwill

February 22nd, 2012
12:24 pm

One of the sweetest strokes you’ll ever see.

1 4 GT

February 22nd, 2012
12:38 pm

Very gratifying to read the comment about Momma. No one will ever love you like Momma! I am glad he listened to her sage advise and fulfilled his “job”. You can bet Momma no longer works those extra jobs now. Congratulations to both on “jobs” well done. It is fairly obvious that Mr. Anthony is well grounded and not the typical prima donna NBA player.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 22nd, 2012
12:46 pm

Too bad Hewitt couldn’t / didn’t / wouldn’t capitalize on Morrow’s natural talent. He probably would have been drafted and not had to go through the questionable years. Good for him !!!

HighTech

February 22nd, 2012
12:51 pm

Great story! Thanks, Ken.

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

February 22nd, 2012
12:57 pm

Great, great article.

GoldJacket

February 22nd, 2012
1:09 pm

Haha, nice story! That last point about Prokhorov.. wow

Ken Sugiura

February 22nd, 2012
2:47 pm

thanks, all. glad you enjoyed it. it does seem like he has his feet on the ground, which isn’t always easy to do when you live that life.

No way

February 22nd, 2012
3:31 pm

Good Luck T-Money!

Delbert D.

February 22nd, 2012
3:53 pm

Prokhorov may be the next leader of Russia. The billionaires are elbowing for position to run against Putin.

Go Tech

February 22nd, 2012
4:21 pm

I doubt Putin will step aside in Russia.

OldGold64

February 23rd, 2012
8:06 am

Best story in the entire newspaper (sports or otherwise). Nice to see someone as classy as Anthony doing well – - – a fine representation of the GT Total Person program.

I won’t be watching the overhyped “all star” game, but I will be watching the 3-point contest.

asia_jacket

February 24th, 2012
2:02 am

jackets holding it down in the NBA this year

A-Mo – 3 pt contest
Shump – should’ve been in the dunk contest and was favored to win
Favors – Rising stars challenge
Chris Bosh – East All star reserve (although should’ve been a starter IMO)

special shoutout to Jarrett Jack having one of the best seasons of his career leading a crappy NOLA team.

and can’t forget Thadd Young, a consistent contender for sixth man of the year with the 76ers.