Morant would miss at least two games, according to the Grizzlies, who did not provide a reason. Social media users shared videos that appeared to show Morant clutching a pistol.
Just hours after the NBA announced it will look into a social media photo that appeared to show star guard Ja Morant clutching a gun, the Memphis Grizzlies announced on Saturday that Morant would miss at least two games with the team.
Questions regarding the social media post, the cause of Morant’s absence, and if he had been suspended were not immediately answered by the Grizzlies. On Saturday, a number of users shared videos on social media that claimed to show Morant in a live Instagram video carrying a revolver and grinning in a nightclub. Mid-Saturday morning, there were no live recordings on Morant’s verified Instagram account that matched the clips that were becoming viral on social media. Morant’s Twitter and Instagram accounts were deleted by the afternoon.
In a statement, Morant, 23, said he accepted “full responsibility for my actions last night,” but he did not specify what he meant. He also expressed regret for disappointing others.
Morant made the announcement in a statement that was shared on Twitter by Tandem, the firm that represents him. “I’m going to take some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being,” Morant said.
The Grizzlies suffered a road defeat to the Denver Nuggets on Friday night. The collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players prohibits players from carrying firearms inside team facilities or when traveling for league business.
In just his fourth season, Morant is among the NBA’s top guards. Since winning the Rookie of the Year Award in 2020, he has helped the Grizzlies resurrect and has appeared on the All-Star squad each of the previous two seasons. His jersey is one of the NBA’s best-selling items, and Nike recently released his first signature shoe. Powerade, a sports beverage, disclosed a collaboration with him on Wednesday.
However, The Washington Post revealed the following day that Morant had been a part in two crimes that had been reported to the police throughout the course of the summer. According to a police record acquired by The Post, Morant was charged with hitting a teenage boy during a pickup game but claimed it was in self-defense. Morant was charged with intimidating a mall security guard in the other incident. Although the teen’s mother sued, no criminal charges were brought in either case.
The Grizzlies‘ road contests against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday and the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday will also be without Morant. With a record of 38-24, Memphis earned the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.