By DWIGHT JAYNES (@dwightjaynes)
The last time I can remember watching Adam Morrison playing any meaningful basketball in Portland was at the University of Portland's Chiles Center.
And if you asked me if there was a signature moment the Gonzaga senior had during that game I'd tell you I have a clear memory of the All-America flashing a single finger in the direction of the Pilots' student section.
And it wasn't to signify, "We're No. 1."
That was during a season when people were urging Portland's Trail Blazers to take Morrison early in the draft. I wrote a column in the Portland Tribune in 2006 detailing eight reasons not to take the guy at the time... and really, after watching him was blown away that anyone would consider picking him even in the top 10.
He was slow, he couldn't pass in traffic, I had doubts whether he could get his shot off against NBA size, he was not athletic and, on top of all that, there were rumors that he was lazy, hard to get along with and not much of a team guy. And oh yeah, was there anyone in the league he could guard?
His NBA career so far doesn't provide a lot of evidence that he can be of much help to a decent NBA team. He's supposed to be a shooter -- and frankly I can't think of much of anything else he could ever give you -- but so far, he hasn't been able to make shots at the NBA level.
In 161 NBA games he's shot just 37.3 percent from the floor and 33.1 percent from three-point range. He's made just 71 percent of his free throws.
His agent can talk all he wants about Morrison not getting a chance but the fact is, he's got to produce when given the opportunity. So far, he's not been able to do that when his job is on the line.
But hey, times change and sometimes people do, too. Morrison has spent a couple of seasons in Europe and there is hope he's found himself while losing that awful mustache. People are making a fuss over his summer-league performance but the guy was five or six years older and more experienced than most of the people he was playing against down there.
He is getting no guarantees in training camp from the Blazers but at the same time, the door is wide open for him to make the roster. Portland needs backup help on the wing and is always in need of shooters. If he fits in -- and that means work ethic, being a good teammate, etc. -- and makes shots, he has a real good chance to make the squad.
Face it, this team doesn't have a lot of depth and Morrison, if he's up to it, could carve out a decent off-the-bench role for a not-so-good team.
It's going to be one of the interesting stories of training camp.