What Happened to JJ Redick and Adam Morrison? – Bleacher Report

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What happened to J.J Redick and Adam Morrison? Weren’t these two white American ballers supposed to defy demographics and become NBA stars?
During the 2005-2006 college basketball season, eclipsing 40 points on a given night was the norm for the number one and two scorers in college basketball. Their breathtaking performances seemed to be a sure sign to many of their future stardom in the NBA. Redick and Morrison were sitting on top of the basketball world and were dubbed the next great white basketball players. 
Unfortunately the professional careers of these former college basketball stars have not followed their story lines. After both being drafted in the lottery they have become predominantly role players.
Redick and Morrison were feared marksmen in the college game and have failed to make the transition to the NBA. While Redick has found a niche in the Orlando Magic system knocking down open jump shots, Morrison has failed to make any impact at all during his time in the NBA. After a dismal rookie season in which he shot 37 percent from the field, Morrison tore his ACL missing the entire 2007-2008 season. Since then he has developed into career bench warmer.
I have never been much of a fan of modern white American NBA players simply because there haven’t been many good ones. In 2006 when J.J Redick and Adam Morrison were dominating college basketball I refused to believe in their NBA potential simply because of their skin color. A friend of mine was so incredulous at my conviction that he bet me 10 dollars that J.J Redick would achieve a place on the first all-rookie team. Those were the easiest ten dollars I ever made.
          Many people forget that white players used to be prominent in the NBA. In 1986 Kiki Vandeweghe and Larry Bird were two of the NBA’s top 5 scoring leaders. As recently as the 2008-2009 basketball season, only two scorers David Lee and Troy Murphy were among the NBA’s top 100 scorers.
          The most conspicuous reason for the failures of white American players is their inability to make the transition to the NBA game where speed and athleticism are fundamental to any player’s success. And, no two players other than Adam Morrison and J.J Redick better epitomize the inadaptability of most white American players.
          Since so few been able to prove league officials wrong, perhaps more so than ever, being white has become a stigma in the professional game of basketball.  Scouts and coaches almost immediately label white players as too slow and unathletic. They are unwilling to take a chance on a player who they believe has reached his ceiling athletically and who they believe will not be able to keep up with the speed of the game.
          The growing prejudicial mentality of many NBA officials is reflected in the leagues’ demographics, and player accolades. Just below ten percent of NBA teams are comprised of white Americans an all time low. More alarmingly, white Americans are less prominent than at any other time in the leagues’ 59 years history. A glance at the league’s all-star rosters over the last 13 years would confirm such speculation. Only David Lee in 2010 and Brad Miller in 2004 have been awarded such an accolade.     
However, when people talk about white players in the NBA they fail to consider that the league contains a large number of prominent white international players. The 2005-2007 NBA seasons all culminated in white MVPs. Steve Nash won back to back MVPs in 2005 and 2006 while Dirk Nowitzki took home the prestigious award in 2007.
The success of players with similar athletic ability conveys that the failures of many white American players are essentially a matter of work ethic and dedication. But whatever the reason for their mediocre impact in the NBA arena, white American players have a lot of work to do if they want to stop the current social trend.
If white players were able to succeed in the past there is no reason why white  American players could not do so now. Perhaps the hardest part is overcoming the stigma that comes with being a white basketball player, but of course there have been harder things to overcome than a racial stereotype.
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