The National Basketball Association has decided to ban Memphis guard Ja Morant for 25 games, his second suspension in the past four months. On Friday, Commissioner Adam Silver said that the outstanding player must cease his “alarming” practice of flashing weapons on social media.
A second video of Morant brandishing a handgun was uploaded on the internet one month after the first video, and the player has now been suspended for the upcoming season. After being arrested for eight games in March for a video in which he flashed a weapon in a Denver-area strip club, Morant uploaded a video of him brandishing a revolver while sitting in the passenger seat of a car. The video was posted after Morant had served his ban.
This season, Morant is projected to make something in the neighborhood of $33.5 million. He now stands to lose little more than $300,000 each game, totaling nearly $7.5 million throughout his career. The NBA has declared that for him to be reinstated, he will need to fulfill a number of requirements first.
Silver made it abundantly evident that the decision-making of the two-time All-Star is “disconcerting.”
Silver expressed fear that other young people would model their behavior after Ja’s. “The potential for other young people to emulate Ja’s conduct is particularly concerning,” she added. “Under these circumstances, we believe that a suspension of 25 games is appropriate and makes it clear that engaging in reckless and irresponsible behavior with guns will not be tolerated.”
When he is suspended, the league has stated that Morant “will be ineligible to participate in any public league or team activities, including preseason games.”
After the second video was made public, the Grizzlies decided to ban Morant from all team activities permanently. On Friday, the Grizzlies said they respect the discipline handed down for this “latest episode.”
“Our standards as a league and team are clear, and we expect that all team personnel will adhere to them,” the Grizzlies stated in their statement.
In a statement released on Friday, Morant apologized to the NBA, the Grizzlies, his teammates, and the city of Memphis. This time, the apology was issued through his representatives. He expressed his regret to Silver, Robert Pera, owner of the Grizzlies, and Zach Kleiman, general manager of the Memphis Grizzlies, in particular.
The guard, who has his signature shoe designed by Nike, also apologizes to children who look up to him and see him as a role model for disappointing them. Morant made it obvious that he has had time to ponder and is aware of the pain his actions may have caused.
“I swear that from now on; I will do better. To all of my sponsors, please know that I will do my best to do justice to our respective brands. “And to each and every one of my supporters, I promise that I will make it up to you,” Morant stated.
Morant has stated that he will continue to focus on improving his mental health and ability to make decisions.
Following the appearance of mysterious notes on the security guard’s Instagram account, which was later removed, the police conducted a welfare check on Morant on May 24. They reported that he was “fine.” A representative for the police department stated that Morant informed them that he was “taking a break from social media.”
“I hope you’ll give me a chance to prove to you over time that I’m a better man than what I’ve been showing you,” Morant said on Friday.
Tamika Tremaglio, executive director of the NBPA, stated that the players association believes the NBA went too far in penalizing Morant. She referred to the NBA’s action as “excessive and inappropriate” and said it was inconsistent with the league’s previous disciplinary policies.
“We will explore with Ja any and all options and next steps,” Tremaglio said in a statement.
Morant, whose Ja 1 shoe line debuted earlier this year, will continue to be a partner for Nike as well.
According to a statement made by Nike, “We are pleased that Ja is taking accountability and placing a priority on his well-being.”
Morant’s acts, even if he is not charged with a crime, have severe ramifications. This is especially true because gun violence is a big problem in this country, and the guard is one of the most popular players in the league. Silver’s position is crystal obvious.
Silver made these comments earlier this month at the NBA Finals. “Waving them around… is not consistent with gun safety and is not the proper message that an NBA player, particularly one at Ja’s level, should be sending to the tens of millions of followers he has,” Silver said. “This is particularly important when it’s an incident once again, where it’s been streamed live on social media.”
As a result of the suspension, it is almost transparent that Morant will be ineligible to compete for any end-of-season honors in 2024, including the Most Valuable Player and All-NBA honors. To be eligible under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which will take effect on July 1, a player must have participated in 65 games (with some exclusions).
It is also a safe assumption that Morant will be absent from the league’s debut in-season tournament, which is scheduled to begin somewhere in the fall of this year and go until some point in December. The league has not yet disclosed whether or not the tournament will take place, nor has it announced the timetable for the event.
Silver has stated that Morant must put basketball on the back burner for him to be considered for a return to the NBA. Morant will be required to complete a league-mandated program that addresses the factors that, according to Silver, “led him to repeat this destructive behavior.”
After the initial video was posted to his personal Instagram account on March 4, it led to Morant being suspended for eight games, which resulted in him losing almost $669,000 in salary.
After being streamed by a Morant colleague, the second video, taken on May 13, has been widely distributed around the internet. That was the same friend who, according to what Morant alleged back in February, had been kicked out of the Grizzlies’ home arena for an entire year after getting into a fight with members of the Indiana Pacers organization the previous week.