Markieff Morris becomes the latest former Jayhawk to win an NBA title
Add Markieff Morris’ name to the list of former Jayhawks who have won an NBA title.
His place as the 13th former Kansas basketball player to win a world championship became official Sunday night, when Morris and the Los Angeles Lakers knocked off the Miami Heat, 106-93, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Orlando.
Morris, who scored three points and grabbed two rebounds in Sunday’s lopsided victory, played a much bigger role throughout the rest of the series, averaging 7.5 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 40% from 3-point range in 21 minutes per game during the Finals.
He becomes the fifth Kansas player from the Bill Self era to win a title — joining Mario Chalmers, Sasha Kaun, Brandon Rush and Wayne Simien — and is the first since Kaun helped Cleveland win it all in 2016.
Kaun's title, of course, was with LeBron James on the squad. As were the two that Chalmers won in Miami.
In addition to joining KU’s all-time list of NBA champions, Morris now becomes part of the fun fact that Kansas fans like to throw around about James, who has won four titles with former Jayhawks on his roster and none without a Jayhawk on his team.
“The type of leaders that we have on this team is unreal,” Morris said in his postgame meeting with the media, speaking specifically about James. “I knew this moment was going to come with leaders like that, and it’s a dream come true.”
As he sat at the podium taking questions from reporters, Morris had a cigar in his left hand and a gold-plated bottle of champagne in his right.
Between puffs and sips, Morris was asked if winning an NBA title was everything he ever thought it would be. His answer was simple: “Yes it was, man.”
“We had a goal, and we knew that we were going to accomplish this goal,” he said. “And we played extremely hard (and) just went and took it tonight.”
KU coach Bill Self told the Journal-World on Monday afternoon that he exchanged text messages with Morris after the Lakers' victory, adding, "He was excited."
The feeling was mutual.
"It means a ton for our guys to be a part of championship teams," Self said. "He was a great pick-up for the Lakers and that was a special team playing (Sunday) night."
Jayhawks to win an NBA title
Clyde Lovellette – 1954 with Minneapolis and 1963 and 1964 with Boston
~ On Sunday, Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo joined Lovellette as the only two players in NBA history to win titles with Boston and Los Angeles ~
Maurice King – 1960 with Boston
Wilt Chamberlain – 1967 with Philadelphia and 1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers
Jo Jo White – 1974 and 1976 with Boston
Bill Bridges – 1975 with Golden State
Wayne Simien – 2006 with Miami
Jacque Vaughn – 2007 with San Antonio
Paul Pierce – 2008 with Boston
Scot Pollard – 2008 with Boston
Mario Chalmers – 2012 and 2013 with Miami
Brandon Rush – 2015 with Golden State
Sasha Kaun – 2016 with Cleveland
Markieff Morris – 2020 with the Los Angeles Lakers