2011 NBA Draft Combine Coverage: Wait, Kansas' Marcus and Markieff Morris are Twins??? - June 21
"Ladies and gentlemen, can I please have your attention. I've just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story. I need all of you, to stop what you're doing and listen." - Ron Burgundy
What am I about to write is earth-shattering, life-altering, breaking news and the first you have ever heard or read about this... Did you know that Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris are twin brothers?
I will let the shock sink in for a second... breathe... deep inhale... slow exhale... No, seriously they are twin brothers. Can you believe that?
I hope my sarcasm was think enough there. Since the college basketball season ended and the NBA Draft process began, there have been hundreds of stories written about Kansas forwards Marcus and Markieff Morris being twin brothers, sharing all their life experiences together, even having the same 14 tattoos, and how their separation anxiety is kicking in with the realization that they will more than likely begin their NBA careers apart from one another.
This is not another one of those articles.
At the NBA Draft Combine, they bring all the prospects into a conference room by each position and have them sit at a table where you go up to them and ask them questions. Thankfully, they put name cards in front of each player, or else I would have had no idea which Morris twin was which. In fact, they could have switched spots and I would have had been clueless. Not because I am illiterate when it comes to college basketball and have never seen a Kansas Jayhawk game, but because the Morris brothers are twins! (I know, you still can't get over it.)
Switching places is something they have done before. Marcus said at the combine that they switched classes when they were younger. In middle school, Marcus took Markieff's math test while Markieff took Marcus' reading test. They have never swtiched girlfriends though. (Good, because that wouldn't at all be creepy or weird if they did.)
When it comes to their games on the court, the Morrises have plenty of similarities. Both are physical, able to step out and knock down jump shots.
"We're not the same player, by any means," Marcus countered at the NBA Draft Combine. "It kind of looks that way because at Kansas our four and five are interchangeable."
And it kind of looks that way because half of the time, you couldn't tell who was who on the floor because the Morris are identical twins!!! (You are finally starting to believe me, aren't you?)
Markieff is more of a true post player. He measured a half inch taller and 1- pounds heavier than the person he shared his mother's womb with. (That was kind of graphic, sorry, but it is the truth.)
"I see myself as a power forward that can guard centers and small forwards," Markieff stated. Marcus, meanwhile, is more of a combo forward who could probably play small forward due to his athleticism but could also see minutes at power forward in a smaller lineup.
The Morrises are from Philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground is where they spent most of their days. Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool, and all shooting some basketball outside of the school. (OK, I'll stop. Sorry) While Marcus figures to be off the board when the 76ers pick at No. 16, Markieff could be a target for a Philly team looking to add some frontcourt depth.
"That definitely would be great to play for my hometown," Markieff said of possibly being picked by the Sixers. "I don't know anyone that wouldn't want to play for their hometown." (COUGH, LEBRON, COUGH) Markieff met with the 76ers at the draft combine as well as the Bobcats, Spurs, and about four other teams.
Barring a team trading around in the late lottery/late teens, the only likely scenario where the Morris brothers would end up together is in Charlotte. The Bobcats hold the 9th and 19th picks, and would have to take Marcus at No. 9 and hope that Markieff falls to them at No. 19. Charlotte does need a small forward, a role that Marcus could fill, and also are looking to add some size in the middle, which Markieff would provide even though he only measured out at 6-9 at the NBA Draft combine and is undersized to be a true big man.
Otherwise, Washington holds a pair of first-rounders (Nos. 6 and 18) but Marcus would be a big reach sixth overall. Houston has the 14th and 23rd picks but it is doubtful that Marcus falls to 13 or Markieff to 23.
So hopefully, the Morris twins have unlimited texting and calling plans on their phones. Maybe Skype can help get them through this major change in their lives as they will be apart from one another for the first times in their lives.
Marcus admitted the likely separation will be difficult and certainly a life transition.
"It's going to be tough," he said. "He's my best friend, someone that you've been with every day, same classes, same tutor schedule, been at the gym the same time, shower at the same time." (Really? Weird.) "Like the same foods, like the same girls... not like that. We're just attracted to the same type of females. It's a twin thing. But maybe it's for the best, it might help us mature more."
"Just having somebody there at all times, somebody that's going to keep it real with you, always have your back, tell you when you're slacking, tell you to pick it up," Marcus said, echoing the thoughts of his bro. "Definitely going to be different. I've played in every single game I've ever had with him. It's definitely going to be different. But I'm a man, I'm a grown man. I can hold my own."
They might not be 40, but they are men. And come Thursday night, the Morris twins' journey through adulthood and their NBA dreams will more than likely begin in different cities, perhaps thousands of miles away from one another.