After a video of the star guard brandishing a pistol started trending on social media on Saturday night, the Memphis Grizzlies banned Ja Morant from all of the team’s operations.
Two months after the NBA punished Morant for a comparable incident, the Grizzlies announced the punishment, which is subject to a league review, in a statement on Sunday. The group made no more remarks.
A spokeswoman for the NBA, Mike Bass, stated in a statement on Sunday, “We are aware of the social media post concerning Ja Morant and are collecting further information.
The All-Star displayed a weapon while driving and sang along to a rap song on Saturday during an Instagram Live session on Morant’s buddy Davonte Pack’s account. The video was later removed.
After being caught on camera brandishing a pistol while inebriated at a Denver bar when the Grizzlies were in town to play the Nuggets, Morant quit the Grizzlies and checked himself into a counselling programme in March. After meeting with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who referred to Morant’s behaviour as “irresponsible, reckless, and potentially very dangerous,” he was ultimately given an eight-game suspension.
When he was suspended, Morant claimed in an interview with ESPN that he understands “what I have to lose” and that he would work to be “more responsible, more intelligent, and staying away from all the bad decisions.”
Over the last year, Morant has been engaged in a number of confrontations off the court. After a confrontation during a pickup game in Morant’s backyard, where Pack and Morant are believed to have hit the child in the head, the high school prospect is suing him. After the altercation, the youngster said that Morant entered his home, put a revolver in his waistband, and then came back outside.
After an altercation with the Pacers’ travelling party after the game, Pack was forbidden from going to FedExForum in Memphis. After getting on the court during the game to argue with Pacers players, Pack was led away from his courtside seat by security.
After the game, a dispute broke out between Morant’s friends and the Pacers’ travelling party in the vicinity of the arena’s loading dock, and from an SUV in which Morant was travelling, a red laser was aimed. The NBA said its inquiry “could not corroborate that any individual threatened others with a weapon.”
Morant said that he needs to exercise greater restraint after the Grizzlies’ first-round playoff defeat.
He added, “I’ve just got to be better with my decision-making,” after a 125-85 defeat to the Lakers on April 28. “I think that’s about it. Off-court problems largely harmed our organisation. Just need more restraint.
This next season will mark the start of Morant’s five-year, $194 million deal. If he had been selected for this season’s All-NBA team, it may have gone to a supermax; but, he wasn’t, costing him nearly $39 million in potential future earnings. Although the sports drink firm removed a commercial starring Morant shortly after the March video surfaced, he has endorsement ties with Nike and Powerade.
This season, Morant averaged 26.2 points per game, and he contributed to Memphis earning the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.