Markieff Morris stepped in front of the media for the first time in a Los Angeles Lakers jersey on Tuesday, giving reporters and fans some insight on his championship mentality and what role he plans to play on the Western Conference’s top squad.
Morris agreed to sign with the the Lakers shortly after he agreed to a buyout with his former team, the Detroit Pistons. He officially signed with the purple and gold franchise on Sunday once he cleared waivers. Morris is averaging 11 points and 3.9 rebounds this season, playing just over 22 minutes per game.
“It’s the point in my career where I’m just trying to win,” Morris told reporters. “I see this team has one goal in mind and who wouldn’t want to play for the Lakers. This is the perfect spot for me.”
Morris was clear that he’ll step into whatever role the Lakers need from him as they pursue their first NBA title in a decade.
“Me personally, I’m just trying to be the X-factor as needed. Whatever is needed out of me, I want to come in and provide. However they use me is how they use me.
Addition of Markieff Morris Could Have Big Impact on Kyle Kuzma
Morris noted that he’d be willing to play a variety of positions for the team, including center when the Lakers decide to go small.
That flexibility could have a big effect on Kyle Kuzma, who would like to play more minutes at small forward.
“I’m going to bring everything,” Morris said. “We have guys who have a lot of versatility. I can be one of those guys in the mix playing the 4 or 5 when we play smaller. Kuz can play his natural position as the 3 a little bit more.”
Kuzma told Christian Rivas of Silver Screen and Roll after the Lakers’ latest win that he feel more natural as a wing.
“I feel like I’m a wing,” Kuzma said. “I’m the most comfortable offensively and defensively being a wing. When I have the ball in my hands, I’m able to play off of pick-and-rolls, playmake, chase guys off screens and what not. I feel like that’s where I’m most comfortable.”
Morris Twins Are Happy to Play in Same City
Markieff isn’t on the same roster with his twin brother Marcus, but at least the two are now in the same city. Marcus Morris was traded to the Clippers before the deadline. Markieff noted that his brother’s presence in LA might have played a role in where he signed after the buyout.
“I think it has a little something to do with it, ” he said with a smile. “Both of us will be competing for a championship and we both have a good shot.”
While Markieff said they will play against each other with a “cut throat” mentality on the court, there’s a chance they live together and even ride to Staples Center in the same car when they face off.
“It’s pretty cool,” Markieff Morris said. “We have been apart a while, so any time we get to spend together is good time.”
Marcus was a little more direct with his comments on how linked at the hip the brothers will be.
“If one of us wins, we both win,” Marcus Morris said, via Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points. “That’s how we look at it. Obviously, I’m a Clipper, I’d love to win, we’re definitely gonna be competitors, but we’re both gonna work hard. It’ll probably be the first time where two players from two different teams are actually working out together. That’s gonna be cool. … Obviously, I’m rooting for him. I’m not a Laker fan, but I’m rooting for him.”