Marcus Morris is determined to bring some tenacity back to a moribund Knicks team that still lacks much by way of high-end talent, but could make up some of the difference by playing coherent basketball for the first time in years. Morris got a good start on establishing a certain toughness for this team Monday night when he randomly picked a fight with a replacement-grade Wizards player, in a preseason game, and earned an early trip to the showers.
This is becoming an annual tradition for the Morris twins, who are without question two of the orneriest players in the NBA. Marcus, in his first season with the Knicks, appeared to take offense to the on-ball defense being played by Justin Anderson, in his first season with the Wizards. Morris first tried to brush Anderson back with a vicious elbow; when that failed—and went unpenalized—Morris resorted to rudely smashing the basketball off of Anderson’s cranium. A punchless NBA-style hullabaloo ensued.
The referees took a surprisingly long time to review this sequence of events, and eventually determined that Morris had committed a Flagrant 2 foul, which earns an automatic ejection. This makes the second year in a row when a Morris twin has been ejected from a Knicks-Wizards preseason game—last October, Markieff Morris, then with the Wizards, picked up a technical foul for bitching at then-rookie Mitchell Robinson, then immediately earned a second technical and an ejection for continuing to chirp into the back of Robinson’s neck.
It should be noted, Markieff’s antics did not inspire the Wizards to a higher level of play or any notable level of competitive tenacity. Sometimes a team just stinks. Like, for example, both the Wizards and the Knicks.