Normally a LA Clippers versus Golden State Warriors matchup doesn’t inspire much interest beyond… well, the player’s actual families. But last night the Staples Center served up a true American heart-warmer; and to risk being completely hyperbolic (and unoriginal), provided a hope we can all believe in.
In a Golden State victory, Warrior Anthony Morrow shot 15-20 from the field – on way to 37 points and 11 rebounds. Stellar numbers by anyone’s standards. For an undrafted rookie, it’s historic. Literally. No other undrafted rookie has ever managed to score this much. Morrow has only played three other games in the NBA, previously top scoring with 8 points. On espn.com they didn’t even have a photo available for his leaderboard profile:
I’m not naive enough to think Morrow will repeat this kind of performance anytime soon, but these games are the reason I watch sports. There’s something mysterious about how a players skills and vision occasionally align so perfectly that it surprises even themselves. And from postgame interviews, Morrow clearly seemed taken aback:
“I think my highest game at Georgia Tech was like 30 or 31 my senior year,” he said. “Today was just one of those things. I mean, you don’t shoot 15-for-20. Sometimes, I don’t even shoot 15-for-20 in drills, man.”
There was no indication that Morrow would play this way, but for some reason he did – and I bet he’ll spend the rest of his sporting life trying to get back to this night. I’ll be checking his box scores hoping he does too.
I’ll also be trying to remember Morrow the next time I watch another underwhelming opponent suit up against All Blacks – hoping and fearing that someone might catch that same mysterious light.
– David Shamy