Grizzlies suspend Ja Morant after another gun video appears on social media

Ja Morant was suspended by the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday after he seemed to be holding a gun in a social media video that was streamed dwell on Instagram.

It is the second time in lower than three months that Morant was seen on Instagram holding what seemed to be a weapon. The primary led to an eight-game NBA suspension that was handed down in March and price Morant about $669,000 in wage.

It is unclear what sanctions Morant could also be dealing with for the second video, which was broadly shared on-line Sunday. An affiliate of Morant went dwell on Instagram whereas the All-Star was within the entrance seat of a automobile with one other individual, briefly showing to show a handgun. It’s unclear the place or when the most recent video was filmed.

“We’re conscious of the social media put up involving Ja Morant and are within the technique of gathering extra info,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass stated.

The Grizzlies stated Morant is suspended from all workforce actions, “pending league assessment.”

The gun video earlier this season occurred when Morant went dwell on his personal Instagram holding a gun at a membership within the Denver suburbs in early March. After that went viral, Morant introduced that he was taking time away to hunt assist, with out specifying what kind of remedy he was getting. ESPN later reported that he was getting counseling in Florida, one thing the workforce finally confirmed however didn’t share some other particulars.

“Ja’s conduct was irresponsible, reckless and doubtlessly very harmful,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated in a press release in March after assembly with Morant and deciding on the suspension’s size. “It additionally has severe penalties given his huge following and affect, significantly amongst younger followers who look as much as him.”

Morant sat down for an interview with ESPN throughout his suspension, taking duty for the video.

“I do not condone any sort of violence,” Morant advised ESPN in March. “However I take full duty for my actions. I made a nasty mistake and I can see the picture that I painted over myself with my current errors. However sooner or later, I’ll present everyone who Ja actually is, what I am about and alter this narrative.”

And when the season ended a pair weeks in the past, Morant stated once more that he wanted to work on his decision-making.

“Being disciplined on each side, off the court docket making higher selections and on the court docket being locked in much more,” Morant stated after a season-ending loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. “Being a pacesetter of this workforce, it just about begins with me. … I’ve obtained to be higher in that space.”

Morant’s five-year, $194 million max contract is about to start this coming season. It might have escalated to a supermax if he made All-NBA this season; he was not voted onto that workforce, which price him about $39 million in future earnings.

His expertise on the court docket is just not a query. He averaged 27.4 factors final season, 26.2 factors this season and helped Memphis safe the No. 2 seed within the Western Convention playoffs.

However the Grizzlies’ season ended amid dysfunction. They have been ousted in Spherical 1 by the Lakers, getting eradicated in a 40-point loss to shut a collection the place trash-talking and antics grew to become as a lot of a storyline as precise enjoying of basketball.

And the offseason is now off to a less-than-ideal begin as properly, particularly after Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins stated following the playoffs that the workforce has to get rid of “pointless drama, self-inflicted selections that take away from the workforce.”

“It needs to be fully completely different going into subsequent yr,” Jenkins stated.

This can be a minimum of the third identified NBA investigation surrounding Morant and the attainable involvement of firearms up to now in 2023.

Morant’s actions have been investigated after a Jan. 29 incident in Memphis that he stated led to a pal of his being banned from dwelling video games for a yr.

That incident adopted a sport in opposition to the Indiana Pacers; citing unnamed sources, The Indianapolis Star and USA Immediately reported that a number of members of the Pacers noticed a pink dot pointed at them, and The Athletic reported {that a} Pacers safety guard believed the laser was connected to a gun.

The NBA confirmed that unnamed people have been banned from the world however stated its investigation discovered no proof that anybody was threatened with a weapon.

Then got here the Denver-area incident within the early hours of March 4, after the Grizzlies performed a street sport in opposition to the Nuggets. At 5:19 a.m., Morant began a livestream from inside a strip membership referred to as Shotgun Willies in Glendale, Colorado. No fees have been filed and police stated there have been no criticism calls stemming from Morant holding the gun have been made.

Morant and an in depth pal are also concerned in a civil lawsuit introduced after an incident at Morant’s dwelling final summer time, by which a then-17-year-old alleged that they assaulted him. Morant filed a countersuit on April 12, accusing the teenager of slander, battery and assault.

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