Ja Morant suspended 8 games by NBA for ‘dealing with the league’
Memphis Grizzlies defenseman Ja Morant was suspended by the NBA for eight games without pay for “league-damaging behavior,” officials announced Wednesday.
The punishment followed an incident in which Morant was seen in an Instagram Live video holding a gun at a nightclub outside of Denver.
The League stated that the investigation “did not conclude that the weapon in question belonged to Morant, was brought by him to a nightclub, or was displayed to him within a short period of time. The investigation also did not establish that Morant was in possession of the gun while traveling with the team or at any NBA facility.”
The suspension includes the five games Morant has already missed since the incident, as well as the Memphis games on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
He will be eligible to play Monday’s home game against the Dallas Mavericks.
IN interview with ESPN On Wednesday, Morant said the gun in the video was not his and that he made a “terrible mistake” video posting himself holding a weapon. He apologized to his team, family and league.
“It’s not about who I am,” Morant said. “I do not condone any form of violence, but I take full responsibility for my actions. I made a serious mistake and I can see the image that I have painted with my recent mistakes, but in the future I will make sure that everyone knows who Jah really is and what I do, and I will change this narrative.
According to him, Morant feels good psychologically and this week tried to learn from his mistakes.
“I realized that I have a lot of kids who look up to me, even maybe some adults,” he said. “I realized that my past mistakes are not good role models. You need to be better in this area and be more responsible, be smarter and make better decisions.”
Morant, who met Wednesday with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, told ESPN they had an “open discussion,” adding that he appreciates their conversation.
Behavior of a 23 year old “He was irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous,” Silver said in a statement. “It also has major implications given his huge following and influence, especially among the younger fans who look up to him.
“He expressed sincere remorse and remorse for his behavior. Jha also made it clear to me that he learned from this incident and that he understands his obligations and responsibilities to the Memphis Grizzlies and the wider NBA community that go well beyond his game on the court.”
Earlier this month, the police department in Glendale, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, said the agency would not recommend charges against Morant.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed the number of games Ja Morant missed.