Morris Rep vs. Luka Ankle: I'm Not A Dirty Player
There is one clear and simply problem with Marcus Morris insisting, in so many words, that "I'm not a dirty player'': The problem is that in adamantly denied that he intentionally stepped on Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic's sprained left ankle during Tuesday night's Game 5, he's not only a dirty player - he's a liar.
"I play this game with a level of respect for myself and other players,'' Morris wrote on Twitter after the Clippers manhandled Dallas, 154-111. "To think I would try to injure somebody is crazy to me.''
"Crazy'' is a bit strong. But "cunning'' fits. And plenty of those who've played against him for his decade in the NBA would tell you the word "cheater'' fits, too.
Early in the third quarter of this NBA Playoffs game in the Orlando bubble, Morris trotted into the paint following a made Clippers basket. Doncic was awaiting an inbounds pass. The Clippers weren't in a full-court press. Morris wasn't necessarily assigned to guard Doncic.
Nevertheless, Morris' trot took him directly to Doncic, who was playing on a badly-sprained left ankle. And somehow, one of the most coordinated humans on earth (as most pro athletes are) "accidentally'' found his foot stepping atop Doncic's, Morris doing so with enough force that Luka's shoe was ripped from his foot.
Luka, was it on purpose?
"I have my own thoughts," said a smirking Doncic, who tried to keep Dallas in the game but labored to his total of 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the loss. "I hope it wasn't intentional. Tell me what you think.''
If the Clippers go on to win the series, and go on to win an NBA title, as is very possible, fans of that team will remember Morris as an "enforcer''; Remember Game 1, when his wrestling with Doncic earned Kristaps Porzingis an eventual ejection? (Same with Montrezl Harrell and his "off-color remark'' to Doncic - "tough-guy'' stuff.)
They will accept with a wink Morris on Twitter writing, "10 years going against the best. I stand on morals and hard work. I compete and leave it out there every game."
But from outside the Clippers family? Morris watchers will recall the game in which he kneed an opponent in the head ...
And another game in which he threw the ball at an opponent's face ...
And another game in which the great LeBron James was so incensed by Morris' foolishness that he vowed to "f--- him up.'' ...
Morris' "morals''? In addition to his reputation as a dirty player, he's also got a dirty mouth, having been punished for misogynistic comments aimed at an opponent.
In another tweet, Morris wrote, "Basketball has never been that serious to try to hurt somebody. Im not apologizing for s--- because I know what I put into this game day in and day out. It was a mistake deal wit it. Competing is why I play."
There is no doubt that Marcus Morris competes, and he's not necessarily guilty of everything he's ever been accused of (including aggravated assault). There is also no doubt that Marcus Morris is a dirty player. And there is no doubt that Marcus Morris is a liar.