After turning in two productive seasons in Detroit, Marcus Morris was surprised when he learned he was heading to Boston in a swap for Avery Bradley.
However, it didn't take long before Morris was excited to join the Celtics -- a place one of his basketball idols, Paul Pierce, called home for the first 15 seasons of his career.
"I didn't know there was a trade looming or anything, it was unexpected," Morris explained in a conference call earlier this week. "I found out about it at 8 o'clock in the morning at the workouts. Once they told me who it was, how could I be upset about going to the Boston Celtics? Paul Pierce has always been my favorite player. I reached out to him to see if I could get some work in with him."With so much admiration towards the future hall-of-fame star, Morris reached out to Pierce to pick his brain about the city and to find out what to expect as a member of the Celtics.
"Yeah, we communicated," Morris said. "I asked him while if he's coming to Boston or while I'm out in LA just can I get in the gym with him. Not just working out, but picking his brain, picking his brain about Boston. The first thing he said to me when we talked, he said I was gonna love it. That's all I needed to hear. I didn't think I wouldn't. But from a guy like that who's been in Boston for so long and done so many great things, it kind of made it easier for me."
When Pierce ensured Morris that he will 'love' the city, Morris was sold on the thought of playing in Boston. It was conversation that he says helped smooth the transition.To one of my idols growing up playing this game. Always been one of my favorite players and will forever be. Real One. Thanks Truth pic.twitter.com/5B6ZACOTEq— Marcus Morris (@MookMorris2) May 1, 2017
"First thing (Pierce) said to me when we talked was I was going to love it," Morris said. "That's all I needed to hear. I didn't think I wouldn't, but from a guy like that who's been in Boston for so long and done so many great things it kind of made it easier for me."Morris is confident that he can be a vital piece for the Celtics and has already set his sights high. His championship aspirations is something Boston fans will certainly love about one of their newer members of the Celtics, along with his grit and toughness, according to Morris.
"I don't think that's a thing you work on," Morris said about his grit and toughness. "You've just got to have that type of attribute and I think it's instilled in me to bring that toughness."Morris got a close look at the Celtics this past spring when his twin brother, Markieff and the Wizards battled Boston in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. Although he wanted his brother to knock off the Celtics, he was also cheering for Boston's All-Star point guard, Isaiah Thomas.
After playing together in Phoenix, Thomas and Morris will reunite next season but have known each other since before playing in the NBA.
"I always root for Isaiah Thomas. We've been close, we played in Phoenix and I've known him through college," Morris said. "I always root for him and want him to do well, I mean obviously I didn't want Boston to win because my brother plays for the other team. I loved the competition. They were out there competing and talking trash and I think that made the Eastern Conference a little stronger seeing the way those guys battled it out for seven games."Now, Morris has a chance to not only be a part of the Celtics-Wizards rivalry but to make a deep playoff run into the Eastern Conference Finals.
"It's exciting," Morris said. "This is the first time in my career I can actually say I have an opportunity to compete for a championship. And I think that fans in Boston are gonna really enjoy what I bring to the game. And I think I fit right with these guys."
Photo used is courtesy of Getty Images
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