ORLANDO, Fla. - Three years ago, it would have been college basketball's version of Kobe vs. LeBron.
J.J. Redick and Adam Morrison were sharpshooters on the court, friendly rivals off it. A meeting for the championship between college basketball's biggest superstars would have been a ratings bonanza, the kind the NBA was hoping for but there are no puppet commercials for these guys.
Both have minor parts on the big stage, something Morrison would have had a hard time predicting during their glory days.
"No, if you asked me that three, four years ago, whatever it was, I wouldn't have believed you," he said.
Morrison was sure to remain parked on the bench Tuesday when his Los Angeles Lakers tried to extend their two-games-to-none lead over Orlando. Redick gets in the games for the Magic, but he rarely knows for how long.
That's certainly not what was expected from two guys who were lighting up the NCAA from opposite coasts in the 2005-06 season, Redick for the powerhouse Duke program, Morrison for the smaller Gonzaga one that had proved it belonged with the big boys.
Those days are long gone, and Redick has no need to relive them.
"I don't spend any time really thinking about Adam. I don't lay up at night, 'I wonder what Adam Morrison is doing', " Redick said. "I don't really care. He's a friend. I'm more worried about what I'm doing, what this team is doing."
It's easy to be team-first guys, because both enjoyed more individual attention during one season than some get in their entire careers.
Morrison averaged 28.4 points in '05-06, edging Redick for the scoring title, but was beaten out by the Duke guard for the AP player of the year award.
"Looking back, too, it was a little overwhelming just the amount of coverage that we got," Morrison said. "It was cool, but in the same sense it was almost overbearing. It turned into kind of something that didn't need to be happening as far as just me and him. It wasn't about our teams and what other teams were doing that year."
They still chat occasionally, but not much recently. Morrison said when they do talk, it's not about basketball - understandable, given that neither has much to discuss.
Morrison was picked third in the draft by Charlotte and averaged 11.8 points as a rookie. But he missed the 2007-08 season after tearing up his left knee in an exhibition game. He quickly fell out of coach Larry Brown's rotation as he struggled this season, then was dealt to the Lakers on Feb. 7 along with Shannon Brown for Vladimir Radmanovic.
Getting out of Charlotte was good for Morrison, but he realized he wouldn't play much for a Lakers team that was a title contender with a set rotation. He has not appeared in a postseason game after playing in just eight after the trade, but insists he's happy with the Lakers and is learning from watching his teammates. Still, his NBA future seems very much in doubt.