The Memphis Grizzlies announced that their star guard, Ja Morant, will be out for at least the next two games.
The decision came shortly after a post circulating on social media was brought to the NBA’s attention, which appeared to show Morant brandishing a gun at a club. The NBA is currently investigating the incident.
Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins stated that there is no definitive timeline for Morant’s return and that he will be out for a minimum of two games.
“The focus right now is that Ja’s taken on the responsibility to really get the help he needs to get into a better place, generally speaking, but also on the flip side, to be in a better place to embrace the responsibilities and expectations as a member of this team,” Jenkins said.
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“That’s what we’re dialoguing about. That’s what we’re going to support him through. We’re also going to hold him accountable, too.”
Morant released a statement in which he took full responsibility for his actions and apologized to his family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis, and the entire Grizzlies organization. He stated that he will take some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and his overall well-being.
“I take full responsibility for my actions last night. I’m sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans partners, the city of Memphis, and the entire Grizzlies organization for letting you down.
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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,” he said.
Following Morant’s statement and the announcement that he will be away from the team for the next two games, Nike, which has a signature shoe deal with Morant, released a statement expressing support for Morant’s prioritization of his well-being.
This situation follows a rough start to the year for Morant. Earlier this week, he was accused of threatening the head of security at a Memphis mall last summer, and four days after that incident, he was accused of punching a 17-year-old boy and brandishing a gun during a pickup basketball game at his home in Memphis.
In January, the NBA investigated another incident involving acquaintances of Morant.
Despite the recent controversies, Morant was named to his second All-Star team in February and is currently averaging 27.1 points, 8.2 assists, and six rebounds per game.