While watching the Lakers – Kings game last night, I had an epiphany. It came about when Coach Jackson inserted little-used Adam Morrison into the lineup. Morrison came to the Lakers in a trade last February. Originally drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats with the overall number three pick in 2006, Morrison came into the NBA with high expectations. He was known as a scorer in college (led the nation with 28.1 in 2005-06). Unfortunately, his game hasn’t translated well to the world of the pros. He battled a knee injury early on, but injuries are part of the game. Great players rehab and return. And others, like you-know-who (if you don’t know who, see my previous articles on heroes), play on.
Morrison still might prove himself someday, though I doubt it will be with the Lakers. While watching the poor guy run around the court last night, totally oblivious as to what he was supposed to be doing, it struck me that he has lost faith in his game, and thus, himself. He passes up wide open shots because he doesn’t believe they will go in. He passes the ball to teammates, most of whom are not wide open, forcing them to take bad shots as the shot clock winds down. He doesn’t want to be responsible for missing a timely shot so he leaves it to someone else.
On the other side of the fence is Lakers’ guard Shannon Brown, basically a throw-in with the Morrison trade. Brown, drafted by Cleveland with the 25th pick in 2006, spent the majority of his time on the bench in Cleveland, Chicago, and Charlotte. Now he’s an important piece on a Championship team. Why? Because Brown believes in himself. Every time he gets the ball, he looks to make a game-changing play: pass to an open teammate, drive the lane for a one-handed slam, or soar through the air to block an opponent’s shot. Brown makes the most of his time on the court and that time has steadily increased because he has no doubt he is good enough to be on the court with All Stars Kobe Bryant and Pao Gasol.
As writers, our job is to convince readers our books can be game changers. That every book we write has a shot at becoming a bestseller. A lofty goal for sure, but I wonder who among Shannon Brown’s teammates in Cleveland, Chicago, or Charlotte believed he would be the seventh man on a Championship team.