East Rutherford, N.J.—When the Nets acquired Anthony Morrow in a sign-and-trade deal with the Warriors on July 13, it marked the culmination of a two-year journey that began with Morrow going undrafted after his senior year at Georgia Tech. The Miami Heat signed him for Summer League that year, which led to ensuing tryouts with the Golden State Warriors, and eventually a roster spot in the fall.
We recently spoke with the affable Morrow for a wide-ranging interview about how he got here, what's on his iPod and what he's been up to back home in Charlotte. It's time to Experience New Nets!
NJNets.com: When your name comes up, the first thing everyone seems to talk about is your three-point shooting – what did it take to get that stroke?
Anthony Morrow: Preparation, man. Just knowing where to get my shots, getting a feel for my point guard – where he likes to get me the ball on the floor and getting in his vision at all times. It’s trying to feed off my point guards. And now I’ve got a great big man in Brook Lopez, who’s a great passer. It’s really just knowing where to be for those guys to find you.
NJNets.com: You improved from 33.3 percent shooting as a freshman to 44.8 percent as a senior. What enabled your percentage to climb?
Morrow: I think getting used to it. Coming in the next season, my sophomore year, and knowing where to get my shots and how to be prepared. My freshman year I was just out there running around. Coach (Paul Hewitt) put me in different positions to better myself and I worked really hard in the offseason. It was just a blessing to be able to get my percentage up from my first year to the next year and then to where it was my senior year.
NJNets.com: What shooters did you look up to growing up? Morrow: Lot of people, man. Ray Allen was definitely one of guys. Michael Jordan, just because he had perfect form on every single shot. Those were the two main guys, growing up, when you talk about shooters.
NJNets.com: Anyone in the league come up to you after a game to say, ‘You’ve got it’?
NJNets.com: Was there a specific moment you felt you belonged?
Morrow: I always felt like if I got my opportunity, I would take advantage of it. It was just a matter of time before I got my opportunity. The Warriors gave me that chance, the Miami Heat gave me that chance. And now I’m just grateful to be here with the Nets; they’re giving me another chance, so I just want to take advantage of it.
NJNets.com: Let’s go back to the beginnings of that journey. You were North Carolina’s ‘Mr. Basketball,’ right?
Morrow: (Laughs.) Kind of underrated, man. They don’t give me enough credit for that!
NJNets.com: But how’d you end up playing ball in Georgia?
Morrow: It’s crazy, man. I’ve been getting that question since the day I committed to Georgia Tech. I was looking at it moreso like (it’s still) ‘The ACC.’ All the ACC teams that were recruiting me were great, and I just felt like it was a better place for me to be. It was a very structured system playing for Coach Hewitt. It really helped me grow up, as a basketball player and as a man.
NJNets.com: How much did Coach Hewitt’s reputation for developing NBA-quality talent impact your decision?
Morrow: I wasn’t really thinking about it. I was just looking for a coach my mom was comfortable with me being comfortable with. But even then, it was in the back of my mind, like: ‘Yeah, he’s produced some great pros, and he still continues to do it.’ So that’s a token to him, and he gets a lot of recognition for that.
NJNets.com: How’d he convince Mama Morrow he was the right guy?
Morrow: Oh, you know … Coach Hewitt’s a father figure type of coach, a tough-love type coach. Kind of reminded me a little of John Thompson. He’s a great coach. Me and (Nets rookie Derrick Favors, also a Georgia Tech alumnus), we just had a great conversation talking about how (Coach Hewitt’s) lightened up a little over the years, in terms of preseason workouts. He’s a good guy.
NJNets.com: Then you went undrafted after your senior year. How did things develop from there to you signing with the Warriors that July? Morrow: I probably think about that every day, how that grind was to get to basically where I am now. Just waking up and knowing that, at any moment, I could be cut, in the back of my mind, and just taking advantage of the opportunity. I was happy to be there, but at the same time I wasn’t trying to settle for just being there. I wanted to be the hardest-working guy in the gym every day, I wanted it to be known that I was a hard worker, whether they kept me or not. Thank God the Heat gave me that chance, and the Warriors gave me that chance, and now the Nets.
NJNets.com: I heard you actually worked a little too hard during college …
Morrow: (Laughs.) Yeah. I had a stress fracture in my back junior year. Coach had to keep me out of the gym. I would still go and just walk around and shoot around, watch the guys practice in the morning. It was just tough for me to watch my team practice without me – I had worked so hard that year and right before, in preseason conditioning, I hurt my back and I was devastated. Coach Hewitt knew it, and at the same time, he knew the best thing for me was not to stress my back more, and (have me) be out more. It was a serious injury. It was just something where I had to pace myself.
Even last year, with the Warriors, I had to pace myself. They’d watch me on film, coming to the gym, and say, ‘After practice, we saw you going back to the gym. You’ve got to get your rest. Training camp’s coming up – you don’t want to burn out.’ It was just kind of a maturity thing.
NBA Media Ventures, LLC | Turner Sports Interactive, Inc.All rights reserved. No portion of NBA.com may be duplicated, redistributed or