One round of counseling may not have been enough for an NBA All-Star after a live-stream appeared to catch him repeating the same firearm offense he had been suspended for two months earlier.
Since deleted, the damage was already done for Memphis Grizzlies point guard Temetrius ‘Ja’ Morant after a raucous Instagram Live video from Saturday captured what looked to be a repeat infraction for the 23-year-old. The Grizzlies announced Sunday morning that the player has been suspended from all activities pending league review, according to TMZ.
Clips from the account “_dtap2” went viral and set the young player’s name trending along with “CMON JA” after he appeared to be brandishing a firearm. An unidentified friend filmed himself and Morant seated in the front seat of a vehicle singing along to explicit lyrics, and the player appeared to be waving a handgun around momentarily before the camera panned away in the widely circulating video.
— James Burnes (@JamesBurnes8) May 14, 2023
On March 4, while the Grizzlies were in Denver, Colorado to face off against the Nuggets, Morant found himself in hot water for appearing in a similar Instagram Live video from a nightclub where he had waved around a firearm.
At the time, the NBA had suspended the player for a total of eight games without pay for “conduct detrimental to the league. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had said in a statement, “Ja’s conduct was irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous. It also has serious consequences given his enormous following and influence, particularly among young fans who look up to him.”
Morant underwent counseling at a facility in Florida which led him to state, “I went there to counseling to learn how to manage stress. Cope with stress in a positive way, instead of ways I’ve tried to deal with it before that caused me to make mistakes.”
“I’m completely sorry for that. So, you know, my job now is, like I said, to be more responsible, more smarter, and don’t cause any of that no more,” the player with a five-year, nearly $200 million contract added.
“Ja has also made it clear to me that he has learned from this incident and that he understands his obligations and responsibility to the Memphis Grizzlies and the broader NBA community extend well beyond his play on the court,” Silver added in March.
As Morant’s latest video picked up traction online, the Grizzlies official communications account released a statement Sunday that declared, “We are aware of the social media video involving Ja Morant. He is suspended from all team activities pending League review. We have no further comment at this time.”
Statement from the Memphis Grizzlies pic.twitter.com/XXLjr6QtlG
— Grizzlies PR (@GrizzliesPR) May 14, 2023
Replies were turned off on the statement that seemed more a formality than an actual punishment for Morant as the Western Conference second seed team had been eliminated from the NBA playoffs in the first round against the LA Lakers now set to play the Nuggets in the conference final.
The NBA had yet to release their own statement, but ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted, “NBA spokesperson Mike Bass: ‘We are aware of the social media post involving Ja Morant and are in the process of gathering more information.'”
NBA spokesperson Mike Bass: “We are aware of the social media post involving Ja Morant and are in the process of gathering more information.”
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 14, 2023
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