The NBA has suspended Grizzlies star point guard Ja Morant for eight games without pay for what it deemed conduct detrimental to the league.
Morant met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Wednesday, shortly before the suspension was announced. Clearly, Silver was not pleased with a social media post in which Morant was spotted flashing a gun at a Colorado club.
“Ja’s conduct was irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous,” Silver said in a statement. “It also has serious consequences given his enormous following and influence, particularly among young fans who look up to him.
“He has expressed sincere contrition and remorse for his behavior. 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.”
Morant, of course, had already been away from the Grizzlies and going to counseling in Florida, per reports. The Grizzlies never officially used the word “suspended” when discussing Morant or in any of their press releases.
As noted by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Morant will be eligible to return to the team and play on Monday.
Police in Glendale, Colo., where the incident took place, have already investigated andsaid that Morant will not be charged with a crime.
Morant, 23, is averaging 27.1 points, 8.2 assists and 6.0 rebounds, shooting 46 percent from the field in 53 games this season.
“There are a lot of internal dialogues going on and obviously there’s still things going on at the league level that we’re in communication with,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said when asked about Morant’s return, via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “Ja’s fully engaged in this process and ready for whatever comes next after these two games.”
Jenkins’ comments came before the leaguer had announced Morant’s suspension.
The NBA says that the games Grizzlies star Ja Morant has already missed will count as part of his eight-game suspension, making him eligible to return Monday at home against Dallas. The league’s full statement on its Morant investigation: pic.twitter.com/TG6lnkSSPm
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 15, 2023
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