Connect with us

Basketball

Former Michigan Basketball Star Darius Morris Died at 33

Published

on

Darius Morris died at age of 33.

Former NBA guard Darius Morris has passed away at the age of 33. The sad news confirmed by sports reporter Sham Charania from The Athletic.

On May 4, 2024, it reported that Morris’s body had been found two days prior.

Morris, who previously played for teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets, known for his talent and skills on the basketball court. His sudden death has shocked fans and the basketball community alike.

During his four-year NBA career, Darius Morris played for several teams including the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, and Brooklyn Nets. He chosen by the Lakers in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft, as the 41st overall pick, after playing college basketball at Michigan.

Advertisement

Darius Morris, a 6-foot-4 point guard, had an average of 3.3 points and 1.1 assists per game during his time in the NBA.

However, his standout season was in 2013-14. During that campaign, he scored an impressive 6.9 points per game and dished out 2.6 assists on average. What’s more, Morris showcased his sharpshooting ability by making an impressive 42 percent of his 3-point shots.

Darius Morris #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives off a screen by teammate Pau Gasol #16 against Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on April 28, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
Darius Morris #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives off a screen by teammate Pau Gasol #16 against Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on April 28, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

Darius Morris drafted as the 41st pick in the 2011 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. Throughout his NBA career, he primarily played at the point guard position. Apart from the Lakers, Morris also played for several other NBA teams including the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Memphis Grizzlies. Additionally, he had stints with the Los Angeles D-Fenders and Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League.

Notably, Morris made a mark during his time with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, where he set a D-League playoff single game assists record in 2014, showcasing his talent and versatility on the court.

During his college career, Darius Morris played for the Michigan Wolverines for two seasons. In the 2010–2011 season, he emerged as a standout player. Which leading the Big Ten in assists and setting a record for the most assists in a single season at Michigan (though it has since been broken by Trey Burke).

Advertisement

His impressive performances earned him recognition, as he honored with third team all Big Ten accolades during his sophomore year. Morris’s time with the Wolverines showcased his skills and contributions to the team’s success on the basketball court.

Before joining the Michigan Wolverines, Darius Morris had already made a name for himself in high school basketball. He played a pivotal role in leading Windward School to the 2009 California state championship. His outstanding performances earned him the prestigious California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section John Wooden High School Player of the Year Award, showcasing his talent and leadership on the court.

During his time at Michigan, Morris continued to excel in basketball. In the 2010–2011 season, he recognized as a third-team All-Big Ten selection by both coaches and the media, highlighting his impact on the conference.

Additionally, the National Association of Basketball Coaches honored him as a second-team All-District selection for the district comprising Big Ten schools, further acknowledging his skill and contribution to the sport at the collegiate level. Morris’s achievements both in high school and college reflected his dedication and ability to succeed in basketball.

Advertisement

Professional Career:

Los Angeles Lakers guard Darius Morris (1) passes the ball during the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Lakers defeated the Sixers 111-98.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Darius Morris (1) passes the ball during the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Lakers defeated the Sixers 111-98.

Season 2011-12:
Darius Morris, described by ESPN’s Chad Ford as the tallest true point guard in the 2011 NBA draft at 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m). Which chosen by his hometown team, the Los Angeles Lakers, in the second round as the 41st overall pick.

Before the start of the 2011–2012 NBA season, Morris appeared on the season finale of The X Factor alongside teammates Derek Fisher, Steve Blake, and Matt Barnes during a performance by 50 Cent. His NBA debut came on January 11, 2012, against the Utah Jazz, where he played 13 minutes, scoring his first four points, providing his first two assists, and grabbing his first rebound. The Lakers won the game in overtime, marking their first road victory of the season in four attempts.

Morris saw increased playing time as Steve Blake suffered an injury, staying in the main rotation for seven games. However, he later returned to a limited role. On March 7, 2012, Morris assigned to the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League. Where he made his debut with 21 points on March 10. He recalled by the Lakers on March 16.

In the final game of the regular season on April 26 against the Sacramento Kings, Morris recorded 9 points and 5 assists, showcasing his skills on the court.

Season 2012-13:
On July 2, 2012, Darius Morris agreed to re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. He subsequently named to the Lakers team for the Las Vegas NBA Summer League held from July 13 to 22. During the Summer League, Morris showcased his skills, leading the Lakers in both scoring and assists.

Advertisement

On November 9, 2012, Morris had a notable performance, recording 10 points, a career-high 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 steal in a game against the Golden State Warriors, while backing up Steve Blake due to an injury to Steve Nash. Just four days later, with both Blake and Nash sidelined, Morris made his first career start against the San Antonio Spurs. As a starter, he posted career highs of 31 minutes and 6 assists in a game against the Phoenix Suns on November 16.

However, Morris faced fluctuating playing time and roles throughout the season. Chris Duhon replaced him as the starting point guard on December 4, but Morris continued to contribute, scoring a career-high 15 points against the Philadelphia 76ers on December 16, earning praise from Kobe Bryant for his defensive efforts.

Morris again thrust into the starting lineup when Nash returned but played out of position as a perimeter defender. However, his role diminished again when Metta World Peace returned to the starting lineup in January. In late January, Jodie Meeks replaced Morris in the rotation as Steve Blake also returned.

On March 7, 2013, Morris reassigned to the Los Angeles D-Fenders. He performed well for the D-Fenders on March 9, scoring 21 points and adding 6 rebounds. Further, 2 assists, and a steal before recalled. Despite his back-and-forth assignments, Morris had a standout performance in the 2013 NBA Playoffs on April 26 against the San Antonio Spurs, tallying 24 points and 6 assists in a starting role.

Advertisement

However, Morris’ future with the Lakers became uncertain when the team decided not to make him the $1.2 million qualifying offer before the July 1 deadline, making him an unrestricted free agent. Though the team expressed interest in re-signing him at a lower price, Morris ultimately became a free agent.

Season 2013-14:
On September 27, 2013, Darius Morris signed with the Philadelphia 76ers. As the team approached training camp on September 28. Morris expected to compete with Tony Wroten for the backup point guard position behind Michael Carter-Williams. However, when Carter-Williams sidelined due to injury, Wroten moved into the starting lineup, affecting Morris’s role.

Despite showing promise, Morris’s time with the 76ers short lived. On November 16, 2013, he scored a career-high 20 points in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans. However, just four days later, on November 20, Morris waived by the 76ers as part of roster adjustments. Which included signing Elliot Williams and Lorenzo Brown.

Following his departure from the 76ers, Morris explored opportunities with other NBA teams. He worked out with the Memphis Grizzlies in December. And considered by the Los Angeles Lakers as a potential replacement when Kobe Bryant was injured. Which given the team’s depleted point guard options. However, the Lakers ultimately chose to sign Kendall Marshall from the NBA D-League.

Advertisement

On January 6, 2014, Morris signed a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Clippers after Chris Paul suffered a separated shoulder. He made his Clippers debut the same day, playing off the bench in a win against the Orlando Magic. Morris then signed a second 10-day contract with the Clippers on January 16. But was not retained for the remainder of the season when his contract expired on January 26.

Subsequently, on February 3, 2014, Morris signed a 10-day contract with the Memphis Grizzlies due to injuries to their point guards. However, he was not offered a second 10-day contract after his initial one expired on February 13.

Morris’s journey continued as he joined the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League on March 17, 2014. He quickly made an impact, posting his first professional double-double with 21 points and 10 assists in a game. Which against the Bakersfield Jam on March 20. His standout performance came on April 12, 2014, when he scored 51 points and dished out 18 assists. In an overtime playoff loss to the Iowa Energy, setting a D-League single game playoff record for assists. And achieving the second-highest all-time single-game playoff point total.

Season 2015-2020:

Advertisement

In July 2014, Darius Morris joined the San Antonio Spurs for the 2014 NBA Summer League. Which is signaling his continued pursuit of a spot in the league. On September 24, 2014, he took a step forward in his career by signing with the Portland Trail Blazers. However, his time with the Trail Blazers was short lived as he was waived by the team on October 25, 2014.

Despite the setback with the Trail Blazers, Morris didn’t lose hope. On December 11, 2014, an opportunity arose when the Brooklyn Nets made a two-for-one trade. By creating a vacancy on their roster. Morris seized the chance and promptly signed with the Nets on the same day. His debut for the Nets came on the following day. Where he contributed two points and one assist in their 88-70 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Morris’s tenure with the Nets continued until June 29. When he was waived by the team, marking the end of his stint with Brooklyn.

On March 29, 2016, Darius Morris returned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, rejoining the team for the season. Making his season debut that same night in a game against the Oklahoma City Blue. Morris made an immediate impact off the bench, contributing nine points, three rebounds, four assists. And two steals in 24 minutes, helping secure a 118–97 victory.

Advertisement

During the 2016-17 season, Morris emerged as a key player for the Vipers, leading the team in both scoring. And assists with averages of 20.0 points and 6.4 assists per game during the regular season. He continued his stellar performance into the playoffs. Where he maintained impressive averages of 23.3 points and 7.9 assists per game.

In January 2018, Morris embarked on a new chapter in his basketball journey. By signing with the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) to replace Edwin Jackson. However, his stint with the team was short-lived, as he opted not to renew his contract. After the Tigers signed Donald Sloan as his replacement in February 2018. Morris then returned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in March of the same year.

In September 2018, Morris received an opportunity with the New Orleans Pelicans, joining the team for training camp. Unfortunately, he was waived by the Pelicans on October 12, leading him to join the Santa Cruz Warriors of the G League. On November 10, Morris showcased his skills with a remarkable triple-double performance. By posting 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists against the Iowa Energy, marking his second G League triple-double.

Continuing his basketball journey, Morris signed with BC Enisey of the VTB United League in August 2019. On January 12, 2020, he further expanded his horizons by signing with BCM Gravelines Dunkerque of the French LNB Pro A, demonstrating his versatility and adaptability as a professional basketball player.

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Canelo Alvarez Clinches Victory Over Jaime Munguia - Sports Groovy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending