Grizzlies’ Ja Morant on at least two games, no return schedule after brandishing gun in social media post

Memphis Grizzlies star goaltender Ja Morant will be out of the team for at least the next two games, the grizzly bears announced SATURDAY. The decision came shortly after it was revealed that the NBA was investigating a post circulating on social media on Saturday in which Morant appears to be brandishing a gun at a club.

Before their game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said there was “no definitive timeline” for Morant’s return, reiterating that his All-Star point guard would be out for at least two games.

“The focus right now is that Ja has taken responsibility to really get the help he needs to get to a better place, generally speaking, but also on the other hand, to be in a better place to take on the responsibilities and the expectations as a member of this team,” Jenkins said. “That’s what we’re talking about. That’s what we’re going to support. We’re also going to hold him accountable too.”

The NBA is also reviewing Morant’s social media post, according to a statement released Saturday.

Morant released his own statement, and it read:

“I take full responsibility for my actions last night. I’m sorry to my family, my teammates, my coaches, my fan partners, the city of Memphis and the entire Grizzlies organization for letting you down. I’m going to take some time to get some help and work on learning better ways to manage stress and my overall well-being.”

Following Morant’s statement and the announcement that he will be out of the team for the next two games, Nike, with whom the Grizzlies star signed a shoe deal, issued the following statement:

“We appreciate Ja’s responsibility and the fact that he takes the time to get the help he needs. We support his prioritization of his well-being.”

The situation follows what has been a difficult start to the year for Morant. Earlier this week, the star guard was accused of threaten the head of security at a Memphis mall last summer, according to a police report. The altercation began after Morant’s mother got into an argument with an employee at a Finish Line store in the mall, which resulted in her calling her son.

Upon arrival, Morant and those with him were told to leave by the head of security, and they refused, prompting the police to arrive. A “verbal confrontation” ensued, then a member of Morant’s group shoved the security guard in the head. According to the police report, Morant then said “let me know what time he’s coming down,” which prompted the guard to file a report because he felt “threatened” by Morant’s statement. No arrests were made during the incident.

Four days after that incident at the mall, Morant was later charged with punching a 17-year-old boy and brandishing a gun during a basketball game at his home in Memphis. The teen’s mother filed a police report the day of the incident and took her son to hospital the next day.

In January, the NBA investigated a separate incident involving acquaintances of Morant. After a game between the Grizzlies and Pacers, members of the Indiana traveling squad told The Athletic that someone in an SUV Morant was traveling in shined a red laser on them. They believed it was a firearm, but the NBA said it could “not corroborate that an individual threatened others with a weapon.”

Morant, 23, was named to his second team all-star in February and is averaging 27.1 points, 8.2 assists and six rebounds per game.

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