Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant could be facing a lengthy suspension after a second video in less than six months revealed Morant was brandishing a firearm.
That much we know.
He was suspended for the first one for eight games after meeting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver in March. This time, well, it remains to be seen.
“Honestly, I was shocked when I saw this weekend that video,” Silver told ESPN’s Malika Andrews from the NBA Draft Tuesday in Chicago, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “Now, we’re in the process of investigating it, and we’ll figure out exactly what happened to the best we can. The video is a bit grainy and all that, but I’m assuming the worst.”
League sources have told Hoops Wire that Morant could be suspended half the season (41 games) or more, though it should be noted they were just making predictions. No one really knows.
Along with meeting with Silver, Morant underwent a series of steps to become eligible to play again this past season. Another meeting with Silver likely awaits.
“We talked directly about the consequences first,” Silver told ESPN on Tuesday. “Before we got to a subsequent potential to have done something wrong, we were very focused on the misconduct that was in front of us at the time. Frankly, most of our conversation was about how incredibly serious the first incident was of waving a firearm on social media.
“Again, the consequences there — an eight-game suspension — was pretty serious and something that he, at least to me, seemed to take incredibly seriously in that time. And we spoke for a long time about not just the consequences that could have on his career, but the safety issues around it — [Morant] could’ve injured, maimed, killed himself, someone else with an act like that — and also the acknowledgment that he’s a star. He has an incredibly huge following, and [we discussed] my concern — and I thought he shared with me — that millions, if not tens of millions, of kids globally would have seen him do something that was celebrating in a way that act of using a firearm in that fashion.
“So I at least was left with the sense that he was taking this incredibly serious.”
Morant, for his part, issued another apology for the latest video — which appeared on the Instagram Live account belonging to Davonte Pack, said to be Morant’s best friend. Pack has been involved in several incidents involving Morant that resulted in an investigation from the league office.
“I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people who have supported me,” Morant said in a statement on Tuesday. “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.”
As for the Grizzlies, there’s a sense that the team may have to restructure the roster with a potential lengthy suspension for Morant in mind.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Ja Morant seen brandishing what appeared to be another firearm on social media: “Honestly, I was shocked.” pic.twitter.com/cGq3r1uG7g
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) May 17, 2023
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