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Bobcats' Morrison returns home as professional

SEATTLE -- Before his first NBA game in Washington,
Adam Morrison was asked about his memories of Gonzaga, his fondness for
his hometown of Spokane and "The Kennel" where he became a
college star.

Adam Morrison Morrison

The Charlotte Bobcats' rookie wasn't about to get nostalgic.

"I don't miss going to class. I don't miss some of the other
stuff, but there is pros and cons to each one," Morrison said
before Charlotte played Seattle on Sunday night. "I enjoyed my
college days and now it's time to move on."

Morrison became an iconic figure in his hometown of Spokane. He
led Gonzaga to an 83-12 record overall, and 40-2 in the West Coast
Conference in his three seasons at Gonzaga. He was the national
leader in scoring last year, averaging 28.1 points, and leading the
Bulldogs to the regional semifinals in the NCAA Tournament.

He was the WCC player of the year and finished second to Duke's
J.J. Redick for national player of the year honors. Morrison says
he still remains in contact with some of his former Gonzaga
teammates.

"It's been good so far," Morrison said. "I've had fun aside
from the losing. But the NBA's been fun so far."

He was greeted by throngs of fans sporting Gonzaga shirts,
Morrison No. 3 Bulldogs' jersey or his No. 35 Charlotte jersey.

Morrison, still sporting the floppy hair and wispy mustache is
sported in college, checked in with 7:14 left in the first quarter
to a loud ovation. His first shot, a 3-pointer, rimmed out, but he
scored with 3:45 left in the quarter, swishing a pull-up 18-footer
in transition.

Morrison finished with 17 points, but the Bobcats lost their
fifth straight, 96-89.

Morrison arrived in Seattle second among NBA rookies in scoring
(13.2) and minutes per game (31.7), trailing only former Washington
star Brandon Roy, in his first season with Portland.

As expected, Morrison's first professional season hasn't been
easy, trying to adapt to the hectic travel schedule and consecutive
games. At the All-Star break, Morrison was drained. But the break
came at the right time, and since the time off, Morrison has
averaged 15.6 points and scored in double figures in six of his
last seven games.

"I think his focus is getting better. I think he's somewhat
surmounted the wall," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said.
"He's putting in the extra time, and I think the operative word is
that he's a rookie."