Did the Morris twins pull a fast one?
The NBA is full of conspiracy theories, from people thinking the games and postseason results are predetermined by the league office to others believing that the officials have an interest in deciding the outcome of games on a regular basis to fit that agenda.
But of all of the wild scenarios and weird happenings that have led people to ask questions, there might not be one more incredible than the one floating around the NBA right now. And it involves former Kansas players Marcus and Markieff Morris.
Twin brothers from Philadelphia who played three seasons at Kansas from 2008-11, the Morris twins have gone on to enjoy solid NBA careers, both making a ton of money and becoming key contributors to their respective teams.
For a short stint — from 2012-15 — the two were teammates again in Phoenix, but today Marcus plays for the Detroit Pistons and Markieff plays for the Washington Wizards.
The Wizards are currently involved in a second-round series with top-seeded Boston and that’s where the scene of the latest conspiracy first showed up.
Markieff injured his ankle during Washington’s Game 1 loss and appeared to be in pretty bad shape. Despite his insistence that he would play in Game 2 and that nothing would keep him out, people still wondered if he would be healthy enough to play or at least be effective. It turns out he was. Despite the bum ankle, Markieff started and tallied 16 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals on 6-of-11 shooting in 27 minutes. All in all, a darn good night that registered slightly above his season averages in most categories.
Beyond that, Markieff looked good, too. Like really good. Almost like the ankle wasn’t bothering him at all.
And that’s when the conspiracy junkies ran wild.
With Detroit out of the playoffs and Marcus free from obligations with the Pistons, there was some speculation that Marcus may have filled in for Markieff during Game 2. And, hey, it’s not entirely crazy. After all, the two are twins and even have almost the exact same tattoos plastered all over their bodies.
Making matters worse, Marcus recently showed up to a Wizards playoff game wearing a Markieff Morris Washington jersey to support his brother and, obviously, his appearance was strikingly similar to his brother.
While the whole thing is fun to joke about or even scratch your head and wonder if it was even possible, the reality is it probably wasn’t. I mean, as much as they are twins and do look alike, their games are different — Markieff plays more of a true forward role down low while Marcus is more of a wing forward — and there are small but noticeable features that distinguish them from one another that those who know them best would easily see.
Beyond that, I can’t see how Markieff’s Washington teammates would’ve been able to go along with this and still execute. Basketball’s an instinctual game, but they still run plays and sets and do things that would be far too difficult to pick up on a day’s notice.
One final part of the whole ordeal that might lend the conspiracy theorists the most credible evidence for their claim is the fact that the Morris twins actually have done this before. Granted, that was during an AAU game, but something similar did happen.
Now that another game has been played — a 116-89 Wizards’ victory on Thursday night that cut Boston’s lead in the series to 2-1 — it seems like things have calmed down and nobody really thinks the switch happened.
A recent Tweet from Marcus also helped calm down the craziness.
“I wouldn’t play for another team unless I’m on that team,” he wrote. “Smooth (Markieff) playing on a sprained ankle. I didn’t expect anything less.”
Game 4 of the suddenly dramatic series is set for Sunday night in Washington.