Ja Morant’s status with the NBA is in jeopardy once again after a recent video surfaced on social media, showing him with what appeared to be a gun.
As a result, the Memphis Grizzlies have suspended their star guard from all team activities pending a league review.
The Instagram Live video, posted by the account “_dtap2,” depicted Morant sitting in a car while holding what seemed to be a firearm.
Although the original video was deleted, clips of it quickly spread across various social media platforms on Sunday.
In response to the video, the Grizzlies issued a statement acknowledging the situation: “We are aware of the social media video involving Ja Morant. He is suspended from all team activities pending League review. We have no further comment at this time.”
This incident comes just over two months after Morant’s previous Instagram Live video on March 4, where he was seen brandishing a gun at a strip club called Shotgun Willie’s in Glendale, Colorado. Following the March video, Morant underwent counseling and was subsequently suspended by the NBA for eight games. However, the consequences for his latest transgression could be even more severe.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown,” Morant is now facing the possibility of a lengthy suspension at the start of the upcoming season. Jalen Rose, an NBA analyst for ESPN, speculated that the suspension could range from 20 to 25 games.
In response to the recent incident, NBA spokesperson Mike Bass stated, “We are aware of the social media post involving Ja Morant and are in the process of gathering more information.”
Regarding the March 4 video, Glendale Police conducted an investigation but concluded that there was insufficient evidence to press charges against anyone involved.
After his initial suspension, Morant participated in an interview with Jalen Rose on ESPN, where he claimed that the gun in the video did not belong to him. He expressed remorse for his actions, emphasizing that violence is not something he condones. Morant aimed to change the narrative surrounding him and demonstrate his true character to the public.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver criticized Morant’s behavior in the March 4 video, describing it as irresponsible, reckless, and potentially dangerous. Silver acknowledged the significant influence Morant holds, particularly among young fans, and emphasized the need for him to understand his responsibilities to the Memphis Grizzlies and the broader NBA community.
This recent gun video is the latest concerning incident involving Morant. According to the Washington Post, he was accused of punching a teenage boy in the head during a pickup basketball game at his home last summer. The paper also reported an allegation that Morant had displayed a visible gun in the waistband of his pants after going inside his house following the altercation.
Additionally, the Washington Post highlighted an incident from last summer where Morant allegedly had a confrontation with the head of security at a Memphis mall, resulting in threats being made.
Despite these off-court incidents, Morant has proven himself as a standout player. Drafted as the second overall pick from Murray State in the 2019 NBA draft, he delivered impressive performances during the 2022-23 regular season, averaging 26.2 points, 8.1 assists, and 5.9 rebounds.
Morant returned to the court on March 22 after his previous suspension and played in eight games before participating in five of the six playoff games against the Lakers, missing one game due to a hand injury. However, his future playing status now hangs in the balance as the NBA conducts its review of the recent video.