The Ja Morant situation

Ja Morant may be facing a 50-game suspension as Memphis is trying to make a playoff run.


Courtesy of All-Pro Reels (Wikimedia Commons)

Ja Morant dribbling up the court, Nov. 7, 2021.

SETH STERN, Evergreen reporter/Copy Editor

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant has been the headline of controversy lately. The young superstar is dealing with a two-game suspension, which may potentially increase in the coming days.

This past month, there have been multiple reports of Morant causing trouble in public. These reports include Morant threatening mall security in Memphis, Tennessee, and punching a 17-year-old boy during a pickup basketball game.

“During that incident, Morant told police he acted in self-defense as he said the boy threw a basketball which hit him in the head. However, the teenager detailed a different situation,” according to CBS Sports

The teenager claimed Morant punched him 12 to 13 times and then flashed a gun on his waistband.

In the early morning of March 4 — following a 113-97 loss to the Denver Nuggets — Morant went on Instagram Live where he supposedly flashed a gun, causing more concern in the NBA world

“We are aware of a social media post involving Ja Morant and are investigating,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said to the New York Post.

The Memphis Grizzlies gave Morant a two-game suspension right after the Instagram Live video. Since then, the Grizzlies extended the suspension to at least four games as the controversy continues. 

The NBA stated in a conference that the league will be looking into the Morant situation and deciding what the best punishment should be. 

While the league is looking into the situation, the NBA player agreement rules state if a player is found carrying a firearm with the team, the player will receive a 50-game suspension. While this would be the worst-case scenario for Morant and the Grizzlies, the league is currently looking to see how long Morant may have had the firearm. 

If the 50-game suspension were to go through, the Grizzlies would lose Morant for the rest of the season along with the start of the 2023–24 NBA season. 

The Grizzlies held a players-only team meeting in which center Steven Adams spoke out. Adams stated that the team needs to show better discipline on the road and that they need to avoid going out.

With the Grizzlies ranking third in the Western Conference and looking to make a playoff run, the loss of Morant would significantly hurt them, especially if the league decides a 50-game suspension is necessary.