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NBA | Mar 06

Ja Morant Saga in Full Swing

Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies - Alika Jenner/AFP
Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies - Alika Jenner/AFP

Without a doubt, Ja Morant is one of the best young players in the NBA, he currently leads the Memphis Grizzlies who hold an excellent performance and dream of killing it in the playoffs. This is why lots of gamblers love the Grizzlies for their NBA picks, the team rocks.

Based on the NBA rumors and NBA news, one might think that Morant has a settled life; he is a talented player, with a net worth of more than $80 million, his own line of sneakers with Nike, he recently participated in the All-Star game, and has a bright future in the league. The guy is living the dream. Powerade just signed him to a multi-year deal to be the new face of their brand relaunch. Great timing Powerade… you’ll get what I’m going at here very soon.

It seems that this wonderful world in which Morant lives in, has made him think that he’s untouchable and rules don’t apply to him.

We’ve all done stupid shit as teenagers, it’s part of growing up, but it seems that Ja is in a swirling spiral where one stupid act leads to another stupider one. Perhaps he is following Homer Simpson’s advice, “Stupidity got us into this mess, and stupidity will get us out”.

Twisted NBA Lifestyle or Just a Series of Unfortunate Events?

Last summer Morant and his group of friends got into trouble at a Memphis mall. The security chief of the mall told police that Ja had threatened him, despite the complaint, no arrests were made.

NBA rumors and news reported that in the same week of the altercation at the mall, Ja punched a teenager during a pickup game at his home. The police report says Morant and his friends beat the 17-year-old repeatedly, leaving him with visible injuries and a large knot on his head. Sounds like they beat the crap out of the boy.

According to the teenager’s statement to the Shelby County Sheriff Office, in full Grand Theft Auto style, Ja followed him to his house with a gun visibly tucked into the waistband of his pants.

When asked about this incident, Morant said the kid was the one who started the aggressions when he threw a ball at his head, and that his actions were in self-defense.

Ja wouldn’t have lasted 10 minutes in a pickup game in my hood with this attitude. We used to play a blend of hoops, MMA, and Jiu-Jitsu. And no one complained. The good old days…

Someone shows a gun in our court and he’s doomed.

PR to the rescue

As often happens when a big star is in trouble, the cavalry comes to the rescue, in this case, public relations.

Jim Tanner, Morant’s agent, has tried to minimize the facts and has categorized them as unsubstantiated rumors and that it is all a ruse to damage Ja’s reputation and financial gain.

“Any and every allegation involving a firearm has been fully investigated and could not be corroborated. This includes the NBA investigation last month, in which they found no evidence”, Tanner said. “The incident with the teenage boy, Tanner said, ‘was purely self-defense.’ Again, after this was fully investigated by law enforcement, they came to the decision not to charge Ja with any crime”.

For his part, an NBA spokesperson said that the league takes allegations of inappropriate conduct by players very seriously and that it is the responsibility of the teams to report any such incident.

Gangsta attitude

Morant isn’t the only one with a gangsta attitude, as two NCAAB players are facing charges for their part in a shooting that resulted in the death of a young woman.

Darius Miles and Brandon Miller, the leading scorer of No. 2 Alabama, are involved in the events.

Miles was removed from the team after being arrested and faces death penalty.

Miller continued to play with the team, since, as reported by a deputy district attorney, there are no charges that can be brought against the young man according to the law.

The University of Alabama said it was a group decision to let Miller play with the team. Although many are not pleased with this and think that the player should’ve been removed immediately.

Ja Morant’s never-ending story

On March 4, Morant posted an Instagram Live video in which he displayed what appeared to be a gun (and some TTs in the background) while at a nightclub.

The Grizzlies announced Saturday afternoon that Morant “will be away from the team for at least the next two games” as he seeks help and the NBA conducts an investigation.

(insert bit about Ja carrying the gun in the team’s plane)

Morant has deactivated his Instagram and Twitter accounts.

“We have said that it’s going to be at least these two games”, Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said. “I mean, this is going be an ongoing healing process… It’s really not a timetable situation”.

Jenkins noted how the team will support Morant through what’s “going to be a difficult process” while also holding him accountable for his actions.

“We’re taking this very seriously”, Jenkins said. “There’s a supportive element for someone that’s got to get better and needs some help. But then there’s also accountability to the team that we’ve got to stand for.

Obviously nationwide, league-wide, there’s been a lot of attention on gun violence, and so for us, that’s the stance that we’ve taken about how we can support Ja throughout this growth opportunity. It’s a learning opportunity, and hopefully we can be better from it.”
But the saga could become a bit more messy for Ja and the Grizzlies, since Ja had his gun in Denver, meaning he most likely had to have carried the gun on the team plane and the NBA has strict regulations against firearms in team’s facilities and flights. This could mean a MAJOR suspension for Ja.

Also, this:

Morant is one of my favorite players right now and while I’ll miss watching him play, he really needs to find help and make the best out of this mess! I would not let him suit up for the rest of the season, the Grizzlies really need him in the playoffs but this stands way over basketball.

I’m out…

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