(News4usonline) – Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant has been in the NBA for four years. He has been suspended twice in one season for basically being a knucklehead. The NBA has had to put Morant in timeout both times for “conduct detrimental to the league.” Both instances involved Morant being caught on social media platforms hocking firearms.
“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,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “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.”
Let’s be clear: Morant broke no law by carrying a weapon. Morant does his business in the state of Tennessee, an open-carry state. This means that the two times Morant has been seen on social media carrying around a firearm he did so without doing anything wrong legally. The NBA, however, doesn’t give a hoot about that. The league is concerned about image and protecting its brand.
This is something that has not registered in the mind of Morant, considered by many to be one of the new faces of the NBA. But if he keeps up his current track record of not adhering to league rules, it’s a good guess Morant is going to forfeit a ton of money and self-sabotage his own career.
The first time Morant got into trouble with Silver and the league’s office he was hit with an eight-game suspension with a laughable counseling session. That’s on Silver and the NBA for trying to insult our intelligence by pretending that Morant was undergoing some deep and serious counseling sessions.
Morant just came back and basically spat in Silver’s face by allowing himself to be caught on social media again waving a gun around while with an alleged associate. Let’s back up a minute. The first time around, the league’s office stated that Morant was caught displaying a firearm while intoxicated on a live stream video on March 4.
He sits eight games and leads the No. 2 Grizzlies into the first round of the NBA playoffs. Morant and Memphis are bounced out of the postseason by the Los Angeles Lakers. Unbelievably, two months after the March incident, Morant is at it again. This time Morant is riding shotgun in the seat of a vehicle with some of his buddies and wields a firearm. This alleged incident took place on May 13. Silver and the league’s office have to be pissed off about this.
According to the league’s office, “Morant intentionally and prominently displayed a gun while in a car with several other individuals as they were leaving a social gathering in Memphis. Morant wielded the firearm while knowing that he was being recorded and that the recording was being live streamed on Instagram Live, despite having made commitments to the NBA and public statements that he would not repeat the conduct for which he was previously disciplined.”
Well, any time you openly defy your bosses and superiors is never a good look. Morant clearly did that. And for that reason, Silver and the NBA dropped a 25-game suspension on Morant to be served immediately and carried at the beginning of the 2023-24 NBA regular season.
That means no summer league games and no involvement in team-related activities. And he can forget about preseason games as well. With the heaviness of his suspension, Morant may not be seen on an NBA court until sometime in December. In essence, Silver and the NBA have told Morant to go away. He’s bad for business. Morant must also meet certain requirements set by the league in order to be reinstated back.
“For Ja, basketball needs to take a back seat at this time,” Silver said. “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.”
Top Image photo credit: Memphis guard Ja Morant during warmups before the Grizzlies play the Los Angeles Lakers on February 21, 2020. Photo by Mark Hammond/News4usonline
Dennis has covered and written about politics, crime, social justice, sports, and entertainment. Dennis currently covers the NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, and Olympic sports. Dennis is the editor of News4usonline.com and serves as the publisher of the Compton Bulletin newspaper. He earned a journalism degree from Howard University.