The Memphis Grizzlies 2022-2023 season wrapped up abruptly on April 28th as the team was upset 4-2 in the first round of the NBA Playoffs by the Los Angeles Lakers.
The series brought up more drama than ever for the franchise with guard Dillon Brooks being the center of attention. It was announced after the series by the franchise that Brooks would not re-sign with the team ‘under any circumstances.’
Weeks after that, the team found themselves in even more drama. This time with all-star point guard Ja Morant.
It seems like déjà vu for NBA fans as Morant was seen on May 14th in an Instagram Live video with another firearm.
In the video, Morant is seen listening to music with lifelong friend Davonte Pack, as Pack was holding the camera, he panned it over to Morant holding a gun.
As far as the Memphis Grizzlies, the team instantly responded to the video of Morant in a media release calling for the suspension of Morant from all team activities.
“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.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke on the situation with ESPN during the NBA Draft Lottery.
"I at least was left with the sense that he was taking this incredibly seriously. Honestly, I was shocked when I saw this weekend… I’m assuming the worst,” said Commissioner Silver.
Silver was seen highly disappointed in the interview as he feels the same way that Grizzlies fans and many NBA fans feel about Morant: disappointed.
Morant released a statement Tuesday night via a tweet from ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
“I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people who have supported me. This is a journey and I recognize there is more work to do. My words may not mean much right now, but I take full accountability for my actions. I’m committed to continuing to work on myself.”
The public and Morant will await to hear what discipline the NBA will impose.
Morant’s friend Davonte Pack, who was the other involved party in the Instagram Live video, has been in trouble with the Memphis Grizzlies as well as he was banned from all Grizzlies home games.
He was involved in a back-and-forth with multiple Indiana Pacers players during the January 29th matchup. It was reported that after the game, a Pacers security guard noticed a slow-rolling SUV with a red beam pointed at them. In the SUV were Morant and his acquaintances, one of whom was Davonte Pack.
Situations like this have done nothing but paint Morant in a negative light, which has proven to be detrimental to his character. Sponsors such as Nike have yet to comment on the Morant situation from this past Sunday, but many are predicting that the show company will pause the continuous release of Morant’s signature shoe.
Morant’s actions have drawn the attention of many NBA players such as Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell.
Russell provided some advice for Morant in a tweet that states, “If you can’t change the people around you, change the people around you.” Russell hinted that Morant should limit the time he hangs around his friend and focus more on his image.
The recent events have also drawn the attention of many sports personalities such as Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, JJ Redick, and Shannon Sharpe. All have condemned Morant for his actions since it is his second incident, but some have come to Morant’s defense at the possibility of a lengthy suspension at the start of next season.
To summarize, Morant did not break any laws as he has the constitutional right to bear a firearm, but he did put a bad image on the NBA and himself by flashing the weapon and it is his second incident.
The league will be working towards a punishment for Morant, which will more than likely result in the Grizzlies playing without their star guard at the beginning of the 2023-2024 regular season.
Depending on the length of the possible suspension, Morant could automatically see himself not considered for any end-of-the-year awards according to the new CBA agreement.
The newly ratified agreement requires players to play at least 65 games to be considered for awards like MVP and All-NBA.
We will continue to follow the details of the situation as more details emerge.