Police in Glendale, Colorado opened an investigation into a video that appeared to show Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant showing off a gun inside a nightclub following the team’s loss to the Denver Nuggets on March 3, according to the Associated Press.
Morant was suspended for at least two games but will be away from the team indefinitely following the incident. He did not play in their loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday and will not suit up on Tuesday when they take on the Los Angeles Lakers. The Grizzlies’ next game following their road trip will be at home on Thursday against the Golden State Warriors.
“I take full responsibility for my actions last night,” Morant said in a statement released on March 4. “I’m sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis and the entire Grizzlies organization for letting you down. 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.”
The NBA also released a statement saying, “We are aware of a social media post involving Ja Morant and are investigating.”
Prior to this most recent episode, Morant had been under increased scrutiny for a number of alleged alarming off-court incidents. In early February, the NBA confirmed that it had investigated a complaint from the Indiana Pacers that their team bus was targeted by a laser that came from a car carrying Morant and associates. Members of the Pacers believed the laser was attached to a gun, though the league could not corroborate that a weapon was involved.
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In March, a Washington Post report detailed multiple accusations against Morant from the summer of 2022. The most noteworthy was that a teenage boy said Morant punched him in the head “12 or 13 times” following a dispute during a pick-up basketball game. The teenager also said that Morant had a gun tucked in his pants, though he did not remove it; Morant claimed self-defense. In a separate incident, a mall security guard said he was threatened by Morant and a number of his associates during a verbal confrontation, though no arrests were made.
“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,” Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said. “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.”