Ja Morant has been suspended for eight NBA games over a handgun incident


The NBA announced Wednesday that Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant has been suspended for eight games without pay for league-damaging conduct.

The discipline comes after Morant live-streamed a video of himself holding a firearm while intoxicated while visiting a Denver-area nightclub on March 4. Morant may return for the team’s game against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday.

Morant met with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Tuesday at the NBA offices in New York. Based on information obtained during its investigation, the League has not concluded that the gun in the video belonged to Morant, was brought into the nightclub by him, or was displayed by Morant beyond a short period of time.

The investigation also did not find that Morant possessed the gun while traveling with the team or at an NBA facility. Colorado authorities have not found sufficient grounds to charge Morant with a felony.

“Ja’s behavior was irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous,” Silver said in a statement. “It also has serious implications given his huge following and influence, especially among young fans who look up to him. He has expressed sincere remorse and remorse for his behavior. Ja also made it clear to me that he learned from this incident and that he understands that his obligations and responsibilities to the Memphis Grizzlies and the broader NBA community extend far beyond his play on the court.”

Morant, 23, has not played since losing to Denver on March 3. The night after the game, he went live on Instagram from Shotgun Willie’s, a nightclub in Glendale, Colorado, and appeared to flash a pistol while dancing and rapping. The Grizzlies first announced that Morant would miss at least two games and then said he would miss at least four more games, but did not use the word suspension in either statement. The league’s announcement said the suspension covers those six games, plus two other upcoming games against San Antonio on Friday and Golden State on Saturday.

After the video circulated, Glendale police initially said they were investigating whether Morant was under the influence of alcohol while in possession of the firearm, which could have led to a charge of unlawful use of a gun under Colorado law. police completed their investigation without charging Morant or anyone else, they said, because “no rioting was reported” on or after the night of the incident, “no one was threatened or threatened with the firearm,” and no weapon was found.

The video followed a Washington Post story that detailed two incidents over the past year in which Morant and his friends were accused of violent and threatening behavior, including allegations that Morant was armed after an argument at his Memphis home addressed a teenager.

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In the first incident, described in a police report obtained by The Post, Morant and several friends arrived at a Memphis mall after his mother had an argument with a clerk at a Finish Line shoe store, according to the mall’s security director, who described these events to the police. The argument spread to the parking lot, the security officer said, where someone from Morant’s group pushed the officer.

“As the group left the premises … Ja Morant said, ‘Let me find out when he’s getting off,'” police wrote in the report.

No arrests were made and no one was charged with a crime.

But four days later, Morant got into another altercation – this time with a teenager. Morant told police the teen, a local high school player, threw a ball at his head during a pickup basketball game and punched the boy in self-defense. In transcripts of police interviews, the boy told police that after the fight, when Morant was being escorted off the property, he went to his home and emerged with a gun in his waistband, although he did not draw it.

Morant’s agent, Jim Tanner, made a statement The allegations related to Morant and weapons “have been fully investigated and could not be confirmed”.

Earlier this year, the Athletic reported that members of the Indiana Pacers organization believed someone who was in a car with Morant pointed a gun at them and said they saw a laser beam aimed from the car after a game . The NBA was investigating this incident and said in a statement that the investigation “has not confirmed that an individual threatened others with a weapon.”

The league’s statement did not mention any incident outside of the nightclub incident.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2023/03/15/ja-morant-suspended-nba/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=wp_homepage Ja Morant has been suspended for eight NBA games over a handgun incident

Ian Walker

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