Player Capsule: Darius Morris
In his second season with the Lakers after being selected in the second round of the 2011 Draft, Darius Morris appeared in 48 games, averaging 5.0 points and 2.0 assists in the 17 that he started.
The player with the lowest body fat percentage on the Lakers – he spent as much time with strength coach Tim DiFrancesco than any Laker – was often called upon for his 1-on-1 perimeter defense as he continued to learn how to play within the team construct at the NBA level. Morris frequently called upon his quickness and strength for a point guard to slow opposing ball handlers on the perimeter.
*Bryant shot 69.7 percent and Steve Nash 70.9 percent at the rim … in fairness, they're future Hall of Famers who know all the tricks. Jodie Meeks was close to Morris, hitting 53.6 percent.
Reflecting back on the season, Morris considered himself pretty fortunate to learn from Bryant, whom he sat next to on team flights.
"It’s truly a blessing … once we became close, he gave me a lot of insight about stuff on and off the court," said Morris at his exit interview. "He became a mentor to me, kept me encouraged, and I really appreciate that. I watch a lot of film on the plane because he’s always watching.”
A free agent, Morris said he hopes to return in 2013-14.
“I definitely want to come back, especially how we ended the season," he said. "We have a group of core guys that are hungry to get after it. Definitely want to come back and redeem this season. I like coach (Mike) D’Antoni and the things he has to bring and I wouldn’t mind being a part of it. I would like to have that chance and have a great season.”