Undrafted out of Georgia Tech, Anthony Morrow entered the 2008 Orlando Summer League expected to be little more than a roster-filler for the Miami Heat — a practice player for an exhibition team.
But a shoulder injury to the already established Daequan Cook cracked the door. And Morrow busted it in.
“If (Cook) doesn’t get hurt,” Morrow reflected to ESPN a few years ago, “I probably don’t get a chance to play.”
Over the next week, Morrow impressed with his dead-eye shooting, which included a 16-point showing against Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the yet to be named Oklahoma City team. It earned him another look the next week, this time in the Vegas and Rocky Mountain summer leagues with Golden State.
Morrow again turned heads — he made 16 of his 19 3-pointers and still holds the single-game summer league record of 47 points — and instead of the standing offer from a Ukrainian team he planned to accept, Morrow was handed a rookie deal with the Warriors.
“When you've got a gift in the NBA, a definite skill, all we had to do was find him,” former Golden State coach Keith Smart said of the Morrow discovery.
Almost immediately, Morrow cemented his place in the league.
Seven games into his rookie season, he’d vaulted from the end of the bench into a rotational lynchpin. In mid-November, with the Warriors battling some injuries, Morrow had a brief stint in the starting lineup. In his first game, he scored 37 points on 20 shots. In his second, he dropped 25 on 12.
It was the debut act for a guy who would soon become one of the league’s best microwave scorers, an elite shooter who can heat up and drop double-digits in a heartbeat.
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