He’s been involved in a number of skirmishes during the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Marcus Morris, a starting forward for the Los Angeles Clippers found himself involved in some plays many considered dirty. He was accused of intentionally stepping on the injured ankle of Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic. Morris was then ejected for a hard foul on Doncic in Game 6. Despite those incidents, Morris says he’s not a dirty player.
Marcus Morris steps on Luka Doncic’s injured ankle
During Game 3 of the opening round of the NBA Playoffs between the LA Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks, things got heated. Mavericks star point guard, Luka Doncic, severely sprained his left ankle and had to hobble his way back to the locker room. Doncic tried to return to the game but went back to the bench in the fourth quarter.
In Game 4, Doncic was questionable but made his way onto the court. He knocked down a deep 3-pointer as time expired to give the Mavericks a 135-133 win, tying the series at two games apiece. In Game 5, during a play away from the ball, Marcus Morris, perhaps intentionally, stepped on Doncic’s injured ankle. While Morris said it wasn’t intentional, Doncic wasn’t so sure.
“I don’t want to talk to him,” Doncic said, according to USA Today. “He’s just saying a lot of bad stuff to me all the game. I don’t want to talk to him. I’ve just got to move on. Like I said, everybody’s going to have their own opinion. I just hope it wasn’t intentional. If that was intentional, that’s very bad.”
Marcus Morris ejected in Game 6
One game after possibly stepping on Luca Doncic’s ankle on purpose, Marcus Morris was ejected for a hard foul on Doncic. Doncic was driving to the basket, and Morris came down hard on him. Again, Morris said it wasn’t dirty, and Doncic wasn’t buying it this time.
“It was a terrible play. What can I say?” Doncic said to ESPN after te loss. “It’s two games in a row he did something like that. I really hoped the first game it wasn’t on purpose, but looking back on the foul this game, you know what I think. I don’t want to deal with that kind of players. Just move on.”
Morris said it was just a hard foul. “I think, honestly, we had a lot of back-and-forth this series,” he said. “It was a hard-fought series. I just don’t want people to mistake playing basketball, playing hard with trying to hurt somebody. I think Tim Hardaway had an extremely hard foul with (Paul George) last game, and it wasn’t taken in (the same context).”
Morris insists he’s not a dirty player
Marcus Morris has a reputation for being a dirty player. It goes well beyond the series with the Dallas Mavericks. Even with the two games in that Mavericks series that saw him step on Luka Doncic’s injured ankle when the ball was nowhere near Doncic, and saw him get ejected the following game, Morris felt the need to let the world know he wasn’t a bad guy.
“Like I said, I stand on respect and morals and hard work,” Morris said before addressing reporters after Game 5, according to Sports Illustrated. “I have my family watching this game, and I approach this game with the utmost respect for every player. I’ve been in plenty of battles with great players and not once have I ever tried to do anything dirty as far as taking a player out of the game.
“Like I said, man, I’m a competitor,” Morris said. “I love this game, and I play it for certain reasons, but I’ve never been a guy that tried to take somebody out. I picked him up full court. I’ve taken the challenge. I’ve talked to my coaches about taking the challenge. And I honestly didn’t even know he had a left ankle injury. I’m worried about my own thing and I have a son coming, I have kids, I have my family and I just felt like it was too far. I just felt like to try to find a narrative, to try to create a story was too far and I won’t take disrespect to my character like that, and I hope he’s okay.”