Ja Morant has been suspended for 25 games for the latest gun-waving video.
Ja Morant, the star point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies, was seen brandishing what appeared to be a firearm during a live stream on social media on May 13, the NBA announced on Friday. Morant was suspended for 25 games.
The league determined that Morant “carried a firearm while aware that he was being recorded and that the recording was being live-streamed on Instagram Live,” despite his commitment not to repeat the behavior that led to his March 4 suspension.
“Ja Morant’s decision to once again brandish a firearm on social media is alarming and unsettling in light of his comparable behavior in March, for which he was already suspended eight games,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.
“The likelihood that other young people will imitate Ja’s behavior is especially concerning. Under these conditions, we believe a suspension of 25 games is appropriate and makes it plain that heedless and negligent firearms use will not be tolerated.
At this juncture, Ja must put basketball on the back burner. Prior to his return to play, he will be required to develop and complete a program with the league that addresses the circumstances that led to his replication of this detrimental behavior.
Silver stated in a press conference prior to the 2023 NBA Finals that he had “uncovered” more information about the incident and that Morant’s punishment would be announced after the Nuggets-Heat series, which ended with Denver claiming the franchise’s first-ever title.
Morant was already prohibited from all team activities following the gun incident, less than three months after brandishing a pistol during a separate livestream on March 4 at Shotgun Willie’s strip club in Glendale, Colorado.
Claudia Jordan reported earlier this month on “The Breakfast Club” that she had learned from Morant’s camp that the pistol depicted in the second gun video was a replica.
Silver addressed this claim a few days later on “The Dan Patrick Show” and questioned if it even mattered if the pistol was genuine, given that Morant had already served an eight-game sanction without pay for the initial incident.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst stated in early June that he believed the 23-year-old would serve a “significant suspension” and emphasized the gravity of the situation as a result of Silver’s collaboration with the players’ union to assign a punishment.
The Tennessee Shelby County Sheriff’s Office conducted a welfare check on Morant on May 24 after he posted ominous messages on his Instagram Story, which he later deleted.
A sheriff’s office representative told TMZ at the time that Morant “is alright” and “is taking a vacation from social media.”
The commissioner also verified that during the initial incident, Morant brandished a real firearm in a nightclub while intoxicated and live-streaming the incident.
Morant met with Silver in March and “completely owned it,” according to the commissioner’s report to Patrick regarding the initial incident.
Silver recalled the Grizzlies All-Star informing him during the meeting, “I made a grave error and will learn from it.”
Morant issued a public apologetic after the initial incident, stating that he accepts “complete responsibility” for the situation.
In addition, he underwent a brief counseling program in Florida before rejoining the Grizzlies.