NBA commissioner Adam Silver didn’t want to get into specifics when speaking to the media about potential punishment for Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant, but insiders believe a massive one is on the way.
Morant was seen sporting a firearm in a social media post on a second occasion. He was suspended for eight games for the first one in March.
“It was very unusual for (Silver) to basically say, ‘I know what I’m going to do but I’m not going to announce it now,’” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on Get Up. “The second part is that he brought up that he’s working alongside the Players Association on this. He’s obviously bringing them along side by side. Trust me, typically the Players Association isn’t there as the discipline is being decided on and doled out.
“So this is a situation that is wide-ranging, and quite frankly, the indication here is that this is going to be a significant suspension. The tone and the tenor and the fact that the Players Association is involved does not indicate this is going to be something similar to what we’ve seen before. And I also think that Adam Silver’s expecting there to be a lot of reaction to what he does. He doesn’t want it to be a storyline during the Finals. So take all of that under advisement as you consider what’s headed for Ja Morant.”
Silver admitted he wasn’t sure if the previous Morant suspension of eight games was enough.
“If it had been a 12-game suspension instead of an eight-game suspension, would that have mattered?” Silver told reporters. “… It seemed appropriate at the time. That’s all I can say. Maybe by definition, to the extent we’ve all seen the video that it appears he’s done it again, I guess you could say maybe not.
“But I don’t think we yet know what it will take to change his behavior. (It’s the) same thing I said at the time; he seems to be a fine young man. In terms of my dealings with him, I think he’s clearly made some mistakes, but he’s young, and I’m hoping now —once we conclude at the end of our process what the appropriate discipline is, that it’s not just about the discipline, it’s about now what we, the Players Association, his team and he and the people around him are going to do to create better circumstances going forward.”
League sources have told Hoops Wire they believe Morant will be suspended for no less than the first half of the regular season.