Along with LeBron James and his other teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers, Kansas basketball alum Markieff Morris helped win an NBA Finals.
Kansas basketball’s influence in the NBA is substantial, and now another Jayhawk has won an NBA Finals. Markieff Morris is the first Kansas player since 2016 to win a ring as a player, and interestingly, Jayhawks seem to win titles whenever LeBron does.
LeBron James has won four NBA Finals, each one with a Jayhawk on the team. Two came with the Heat and Mario Chalmers, one with the Cavaliers and Sasha Kaun, and now one with the Lakers and Markieff Morris.
During the Finals, Morris averaged 21.5 minutes per game along with 7.5 points. Despite not playing well in game five, Morris was undoubtedly a huge part of the Lakers’ success and he deserves every piece of this championship.
Rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals, Morris was not very heavily recruited out of high school. He and his twin Marcus chose to join Bill Self and Kansas basketball, and both of their careers were great with the Jayhawks.
In his junior season, Markieff averaged 13.6 points per game along with 8.3 rebounds per game. He was named to the second-team All-Big 12 team. His brother Marcus went on to win the Big 12 Player of the Year award that season and the twins decided to declare for the NBA Draft.
Markieff was taken by the Phoenix Suns with the No. 13 overall pick, and his brother was taken No. 14 overall by the Houston Rockets. Since then the brothers have bounced around with multiple teams, with Marcus currently playing for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Markieff was great with the Jayhawks, and he played his role well with the Lakers during his time with the team. If LeBron decides to stick around in LA and Morris stays as well, there’s a chance he could win another ring in the near future.