The NBA has suspended Memphis Grizzlies’ star Ja Morant for 25 games to start the 2023-24 season. The suspension comes as a result of conduct detrimental to the league after a video surfaced on social media showing the All-Star holding a firearm. This is not the first time Morant has been in trouble for this behavior. The NBA suspended him for eight games in March after he was seen on Instagram Live holding a handgun while intoxicated at a Denver-area club.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke out about the incident, stating, “Ja Morant’s decision to once again wield a firearm on social media is alarming and disconcerting given his similar conduct in March for which he was already suspended eight games. The potential for other young people to emulate Ja’s conduct is particularly concerning. Under these circumstances, we believe a suspension of 25 games is appropriate and makes clear that engaging in reckless and irresponsible behavior with guns will not be tolerated.”
The suspension will come with conditions for Morant’s return to the league. The NBA has required him to fulfill a program that directly addresses the circumstances that led him to repeat this destructive behavior. He will also be ineligible to participate in any public league or team activities, including preseason games, during the suspension.
Morant issued an apology to the NBA, the Grizzlies, his teammates, the city of Memphis, and his fans. He promised to work on his mental health and decision-making during his suspension while also training for his return to the court.
The NBA’s investigation into the incident has been completed for weeks, but Silver waited until the conclusion of the NBA Finals to announce the suspension. He did not want to distract from the league’s championship series.
This news is a blow to the Grizzlies, who will be without their star player for the beginning of the season. It also raises concerns about Morant’s behavior and the influence it may have on young people who look up to him as a role model.
Let’s hope that Morant takes this suspension seriously and uses it as an opportunity to grow and learn from his mistakes. The NBA’s decision to suspend him for 25 games sends a strong message that reckless and irresponsible behavior with guns will not be tolerated in the league.