JA Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies suspended for 25 Games
Ja Morant was suspended for 25 games today, ahead of the start the 2023-24 NBA season following the most recent instance of the Memphis Grizzlies star brandishing a firearm on social media.
Two months after NBA commissioner Adam Silver suspended Morant for eight games for a series of off -court infractions including multiple gun-related incidents, Morant flashed a handgun while in a vehicle during an Instagram Live video last month. The league launched an investigation, which in concluded prior to the NBA finals. Morant was an indefinite suspension from the Grizzlies.
In a short statement Friday, the Grizzlies said they respected the league’s decision to suspend Morant. The team added, “Our standards as a league and team are clear, and we expect that all team personnel will adhere to them.”
Morant “will also be required to meet certain conditions before he returns to play,” the league said in a statement.
The league “uncovered a fair amount of additional information ” during its investigation, Silver said during his annual state-of-the-league address prior to Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Denver Nuggets and Miami on June 1.
“Ja Morant’s decision to once again wield a firearm on social media is alarming and disconcerting given his similar conduct in March for which he was already suspended eight games,” Silver said in the NBA’s statement Friday. “The potential for other young people to emulate Ja’s conduct is particularly concerning. Under these circumstances, we believe a suspension of 25 games is appropriate and makes clear that engaging in reckless and irresponsible behavior with guns will not be tolerated.
“For Ja, basketball needs to take a back seat at this time. Prior to his return to play, he will be required to formulate and fulfill a program with the league that directly addresses the circumstances that led him to repeat this destructive behavior.”
Morant also released a statement Friday in which he apologized to the league and fans. He said he would spend the offseason working on his mental health and decision making, and would “make it up to” everyone he disappointed.
Police conducted a wellness on Morant check in late May after the 23-year-old posted to Instagram a series of captions over pictures of his loved ones that read, “Love ya ma,” “Love ya pops,” “You da greatest babygirl love ya,” and, simply, “Bye.” Morant told police “he is fine” and “taking a break from social media.”
The NBA suspended Morant for eight games in March after he filmed himself on Instagram live flashing what appears to be a gun from the Colorado strip club Shotgun Willie’s. The suspension came on the heels of a report that outlined three separate incidents involving Morant, two of which were reported to police.