NBA Star Ja Morant Given 8-game Suspension


Mitchell Nicolas

NBA and Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant is facing an 8-game suspension after numerous incidents occurred these past few weeks. He was seen brandishing what appears to be a firearm on an Instagram Live in a Colorado club. The league was swiftly notified by local authorities and the Denver Police department conducted an investigation on Ja. Later on in the week, more pictures surfaced of Ja at a strip club, deepening the investigation into Ja’s actions by the NBA and the Denver police department.

After about a week of investigating, the Denver police department released this statement, “after conducting a thorough investigation into Ja Morant, we have not deemed him to have any charges against him.” This obviously clearing his name with the local authorities, Ja still has the NBA to face, and their process was a little different. Per the NBA spokesperson Mark Tatum, “Any brandishing of firearms is a clear violation of NBA rules and policies, as well as the other pictures surfacing of Ja Morant online. The league has been continuously investigating this issue and we will have a verdict in the coming days.” Which they did, ultimately handing him an 8-game suspension.

This isn’t the first time Ja has been involved in controversy like this one. After one of his games against the Pacers, he and his friends decided to allegedly point red dot sighted guns at Pacer’s staff over a disagreement he had with one of the staffers while leaving the arena. Ja was never found guilty of anything here as the league wasn’t able to determine if he was present. Another instance is Ja and his crew allegedly beating up a 17 year old teenager who was playing pickup basketball at Ja’s house. The teenager reportedly left the house with a huge knot in head after Ja and his friend punched him repeatedly, yet no charge was filed in the incident. Around the same time, Ja had an incident filed to the Memphis police department as he got into a shoving match with a mall security guard, charges in this case also weren’t filed. Ja’s actions haven’t had consequences until this incident.

NBA reporters seem to be taking matters in their own hands though, as they’ve begun to make assumptions about Ja’s personal life. Famous NBA analyst and “Skip and Shannon” star Skip Bayless is claiming that Ja Morant may be affiliated with the “Crips.” A notorious gang that is famous in the United States. While others have simply claimed that he “isn’t mature enough for the money he’s given,” (Marcellus Wiley on First Take) and “doesn’t know how to handle himself properly.” (Mike GreenBerg on Get up!) That being said, Ja has numerous non-profit organizations and charities he advocated for. Stories about him helping his community have been coming out every day in support of his character. He has his haters, but he certainly has his fanbase who support him and love him unconditionally, considering he’s one of the NBA’s brightest stars.

The Memphis Grizzlies are currently sitting at 3rd in the Western Conference with a 43-27 record. Without Ja Morant this season they have a win-loss record of 7-7. Clearly on a basketball level Ja’s absence doesn’t help the Grizzlies on their pursuit of a title, but once he is reinstated they should be in a good position to push for one of the top spots in the west. Memphis’ coach Taylor Jenkins stated “Ja brought us here today, and we’re going to ride for him like he’s been riding for us.” A future-oriented Ja Morant has decided to not give a comment to anyone at this time, stating “I’m focused on what’s to come, not what’s passed.” Ja is scheduled to finish his 8 game suspension on March 20th against the Dallas Mavericks in Memphis, when the team decides to put him out there is unknown to us at this time.