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Tuesday evening, June 27
This was special in that Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd arrived in New York City to share in the draft festivities. His arrival was timed perfectly, as the extended Morrison family took in a Broadway Show – "The Drowsy Chauffer" (at the Marriott Marquis theater on Times Square). There was a tough decision for Adam to make that night – go to that Broadway Musical or hang out, have dinner and find a video arcade and play games all night with Tommy. Suffice it to say – the video arcade (and dinner with Tommy) won out. Adam showed his flexibility and concentration that evening – acknowledging well wishers while playing the games.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006 – Draft Day
The big event during the day was the Pre Draft luncheon at the Westin Hotel – Times Square – the Host Hotel for the NBA Draft. Many luminaries and NBA executives joined the draft prospects and their families. The hotel was also a hotbed of activity later in the afternoon, as the players, the media and noted celebrities had the hotel lobby bustling. The Draft Prospects left first for "The Garden" – then the "Green Room" immediate family members – and then transportation for other family and friends. During the ride to Madison Square Garden, both Glenn Williams (Adam's High School Coach at Mead) and Tommy Lloyd were interviewed live by Dennis Patchin.
The Morrison party arrived at the Theater at Madison Square Garden – and the "Green Room" immediate family took their seats at the table on the floor – and the remainder were several rows up – sitting adjacent to family and friends of J.J. Redick, Hilton Armstrong, Marcus Williams Cedric Simmons and Brandon Roy.
One major (and interesting) theme of the evening was the local New York population, who were there to let their feelings known to Knicks owner James Dolan and Isaiah Thomas. Neither Dolan nor Thomas were spotted, but that didn't stop the boisterous crowd from letting their feelings known throughout the night.
In Tuesday's Pre Draft article – GUNation reported that Adam and his family didn't want to follow the rumors, etc – they just wanted to let the day play out. Turns out Adam's agent, Mark Bartelstein had a pretty strong hunch – and told the family "they'd like the situation and they'd be happy with the pick". Mark may have even dropped a hint to Adam that it'd be Charlotte. Shortly before the 3rd pick was announced by NBA Commissioner David Stern, camera crews surrounded the Morrison table (the media had gotten a minute or two advance notice). Adam – who is NEVER nervous – was a bit anxious and said he'd hoped this was right. It WAS pretty nerve wracking – waiting for the name to be called.
Both Adam and his father John said that when his name was called, "everything became a blur". The crowd erupted in applause – and Adam made his way to the stage. It was quite a moment (understatement here). The rest of the evening at MSG was interesting – watching the picks and seeing the jubilation on family and friend's faces when their son, nephew, neighbor or friend was selected. To a person, Adam's immediate family said it was such a relief to have the selection early.
Adam was whisked away immediately after his selection, and the next hour or so passed with him doing various media interviews. About the time of the 25th pick – Adam's family and friends were collected and met Adam "backstage" for official NBA photos. Adam hugged his mother Wanda, and niece Shalae jumped into his arms.
Randy Foye had just finished his "official NBA photo shoot" – and he warmly embraced Adam's father John and his Aunt Lois. They'd gotten to know Randy at the Wooden Awards. J.J. Redick was also backstage with his family for the official photos to be taken after Adam's. Charlotte Bobcat T.V. was also there, filming Adam at every moment.
GUNation had the chance to speak backstage with Del Curry, Director of Player Personnel for the Bobcats. A beaming Curry said "Charlotte is very excited to welcome Adam Morrison into the Bobcat family. Everyone is looking forward to his arrival in Charlotte on Thursday."
After the photos backstage, the Morrison traveling party left for a post draft function held in Adam's honor at Jay-Z's 40/40 Club. Now that was a happening place. Of course, Adam didn't leave "The Garden" until he'd signed multiple autographs along the barricade outside. He, and the entire Morrison group were easily recognized with their new, bright orange "Charlotte Bobcats" caps.
The party at the 40/40 Club was outstanding. Adam's agents had set up a private room, and food, drink, and watching the rest of the draft on the big Plasma TV was the order of the day. Adam and Tommy were watching closely – hoping for J.P.'s name to be called – but it wasn't to be. They both agreed that J.P. will have a great career in professional basketball – if not in the NBA – then overseas.
Adam's agent led a toast, which was followed by the previewing of a number of Adam's new commercials. It was great. Adam's Aunt Lois also gave a memorable, heartfelt toast.
The Big Day came to an end -- Adam and family left Jay-Z's about 1:30am – about 5 ½ hours before their plane was to depart – taking them, as a family, to Adam's new home – Charlotte, North Carolina. Home of the Bobcats – and home of Adam Morrison.
Correction – In the Tuesday, June 27, 2006 "Pre-draft" article, GUNation incorrectly stated that the 4 field level seats for the Braves game came to Adam courtesy of the Yankees. They were actually courtesy of adidas. On another note – Adam, his father John and his Uncle Gary all stated that the GUNation description of the events that transpired while they were seated down low were "significantly" understated. "Madhouse" and "Mob Scene" were words they used. And they did not last an inning and a half as reported earlier– they lasted 5 outs seated down below (before escaping back to the Joe DiMaggio Luxury Suite.
David Stern announces Adam to Charlotte.
Bilas, Stephen A, Greg Anthony and Dan Patrick discuss Adam.
J.J. Redick checks his Blackberry.
Adam's father, John, greets Randy Foye.
Adam shares moments with his niece Shaeli.
Adam's mother, Wanda, and sister Sara greet Adam.
Adam's high school coach, Glenn Williams, and Sara await Adam.
Adam's marketing agent Rob Lefko shows his company's ad campaign which has already netted Adam more deals than any other draftee.
Adam signs autographs while exiting The Garden.
Sara, Adam and Glenn Williams leave Madison Square Garden.
An EA Sports presentation of Adam's commercials at Jay-Z's.
Adam's Aunt Lois gives a heartfelt toast in a private room at Jay-Z's.
Bobcat brass Del Curry, and marketing agent Rob Lefko backstage with John Morrison.
John Morrison and Zags assistant Tommy Lloyd backstage.
John Morrison and Glenn Wiliams' wife Kathy enjoy a quiet moment at Jay-Z's.
The Morrison family enjoys watching Adam's TV commercials at Jay-Z's.
Sara and Wanda Morrison find an interesting poster at Jay'Z's.
Sara, Adam and Brandie - the Morrison kids.
Family friend Ken Devones and Glenn Williams enjoying the night with Adam at Jay-Z's.
The Morrisons and Tommy Lloyd stream out of a crowded, hopping Jay-Z's 40 40 Club and into the New York City night.