Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant was placed on suspension by the NBA after he was seen holding a handgun during a live stream. Here’s when he can return.
Back on March 4, Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant went viral for a live stream in which he was intoxicated and held up a handgun at a Denver strip club.
Shortly thereafter, the Grizzlies announced that Morant would be stepping away for at least two games, as the league investigated the video in question. During his absence, Morant reportedly entered a counseling program in Florida.
On Wednesday, the NBA released a statement, announcing that they have suspended Morant for eight games for “conduct detrimental to the league.” Morant met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver at the league’s New York offices that day.
Additionally, the statement stated that they could not conclude that the gun in question “belonged to Morant, was brought by him into the nightclub or was displayed by him beyond a brief period.” The league did not find that Morant was traveling with the gun “with the team or in any NBA facility.”
“Ja’s conduct was irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous,” said Silver, h/t NBA.com. “It also has serious consequences given his enormous following and influence, particularly among young fans who look up to him. He has expressed sincere contrition and remorse for his behavior. Ja has also made it clear to me that he has learned from this incident and that he understands his obligations and responsibility to the Memphis Grizzlies and the broader NBA community extend well beyond his play on the court.”
When will Ja Morant be eligible to return?
In the league’s announcement, it was determined that Morant is eligible to return for Memphis’ March 20 game against the Dallas Mavericks.
He will miss Memphis’ March 17 game against the San Antonio Spurs and March 18 contest against the Golden State Warriors.
Shortly after the Grizzlies announced that Morant was stepping away, the point guard released a statement of his own, apologizing for his actions.
“I’m sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis and the entire Grizzlies organization for letting you down,” Morant said, h/t New York Times. “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.”
Colorado police announced that they were not charging Morant over the incident.
Morant played in 53 games this season, averaging 27.1 points, 8.2 assists, and 6.0 rebounds while recording a 46.3 field goal percentage and 31.6 three-point percentage.