Suspended NBA Star Speaks Out After Gun Video

Ja Morant of the Grizzlies is being investigated by NBA
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 15, 2023 12:12 PM CDT
Updated May 17, 2023 2:00 AM CDT
Grizzlies Suspend Morant After Possible Gun Video
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant in a game April 26, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn.   (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
UPDATE May 17, 2023 2:00 AM CDT

Ja Morant spoke out Tuesday night about his latest troubles, three days after the Memphis guard apparently held a firearm again while being broadcast on social media and was suspended by the Grizzlies from all team activities. He's also being investigated by the NBA for his actions, two months after the league suspended him for essentially the same thing—displaying a gun on social media. “I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people who have supported me," Morant said in a statement released Tuesday night by his representatives. "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.” His comments came a few hours after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expressed disappointment over the situation, the AP reports.

May 15, 2023 12:12 PM CDT

Ja Morant was suspended by the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday after he appeared to be holding a gun in a video that was streamed live on Instagram, the latest in a series of incidents involving the two-time All-Star guard. It’s the second time in less than three months that Morant was seen on Instagram holding what appeared to be a weapon. The first led to an eight-game NBA suspension that was handed down in March and cost Morant about $669,000 in salary. It’s unclear what sanctions Morant may face for the second video, which was captured Saturday night and widely shared online.

The video was streamed on the Instagram account of Morant associate Davonte Pack, a person familiar with the situation told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because neither the NBA nor the Grizzlies have commented on the specifics of the latest video. The video shows Morant in the passenger seat of a vehicle, briefly appearing to display a handgun. At the very brief moment—maybe less than a second—when Morant is shown holding what appears to be a weapon, the livestream had 111 viewers. "We are aware of the social media post involving Ja Morant and are in the process of gathering more information," NBA spokesman Mike Bass said. The Grizzlies, whose season is over, said Morant is suspended from all team activities "pending league review."

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This will be at least the third known NBA investigation surrounding Morant and the possible involvement of firearms so far in 2023. Morant’s actions were investigated after a Jan. 29 incident in Memphis that he said led to Pack—someone Morant calls "my brother"— being banned from Grizzlies' home games for a year. The video that got Morant suspended during the season happened when the Grizzlies star went live on his own Instagram account while holding a gun at a club in the Denver suburbs in early March. After that went viral, Morant announced that he was taking time away from basketball to seek help, without specifying what sort of treatment he was getting. (More Memphis Grizzlies stories.)

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