CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Adam Morrison walked into the Charlotte Bobcats’ locker room Tuesday wearing a hooded sweatshirt, covering a secret that would leave his teammates stunned.
“He took off the hood and I just started laughing,” forward Jared Dudley said. “Everybody started laughing.”
Morrison had cut his hair. And this was no minor trim job.
Morrison’s unwieldy, shaggy black mop that had become sort of anti-fashion statement from his college days at Gonzaga was replaced by short-cropped hair that ended halfway down his neck, even with the bottom of his ears.
“We bounced it around in the last month or so. I said, ‘Adam, come on, it’s time.’ Just joking around,” guard Matt Carroll said. “Then I came in today and saw him sitting in his chair with that same old face — that stone face — and I saw him with no hair. I said, ‘Wow! Unbelievable!”’
Morrison didn’t touch the thin mustache that recently got connected to an even thinner goatee. But the hair, which had grown so long this year that he had been putting it in a ponytail, was nearly all gone.
Some folks didn’t recognize him.
Coach Larry Brown said assistant Jeff Capel peeked into the locker room and thought the short-haired guy in the corner was forward Linton Johnson, who was signed on Tuesday.
“Then he said, ‘But Linton is a black guy,”’ Brown said Capel told him.
After the initial shock wore off, the ribbing was unmerciful.
“I told him he looks like Jim Carrey in ‘Cable Guy,”’ Dudley said.
Assistant Dave Hanners wondered if it would affect his jump shot since “you’re a little lighter on your feet.”
Added Carroll: “I said, ‘Adam, behind all the hair you’re not a bad looking guy, believe it or not.”’
What prompted Morrison to destroy the 1980s, hair band era ‘do that inspired the Bobcats to pass out Morrison wigs shortly after he was the No. 3 pick in the 2006 draft?
Morrison, coming off knee surgery that caused him to miss all of last season, wasn’t talking. He sneaked off the court after practice ended and later declined interview requests.
Brown, who shortly after he was hired joked he didn’t remember Morrison’s name because “he wasn’t dressed like a basketball player,” gave a thumbs up to the new hairstyle.
Several teammates agreed.
“It looked good. It looked clean,” Dudley said. “Fix the ‘stache and we’ve got a whole new guy.”
Forward Sean May said that’s the team’s next goal.
“The only thing I told him he needs to get rid of that nasty mustache, and he’s all good to go,” May said.