Memphis Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant is at the center of a disturbing report regarding the conduct of a member of his game-day party.
It has been reported that following the Jan. 29 game against the Indiana Pacers in Memphis, where Ja Morant’s father Tee and Ja’s friend Davonte Pack got into a verbal altercation with Pacers players on the floor during the game, the verbal altercation continued at the loading area at FedEx Forum, where the Pacers team buses were.
Someone in Ja’s party flashed a red laser light on the Pacers’ traveling party. Members of the Pacers group reportedly thought it was attached to a gun and feared for their safety.
The NBA conducted an investigation into the incident.
“NBA Security and league investigators conducted an investigation interviewing numerous eyewitnesses and reviewing video surveillance following allegations made by the Indiana Pacers organization regarding a postgame incident on Jan. 29. While we substantiated that a postgame situation arose that was confrontational, based on interviews and other evidence gathered, we could not corroborate that any individual threatened others with a weapon,” NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said. “Certain individuals involved in the postgame situation and a related matter during the game that night have been subsequently banned from attending games in the arena. If additional information becomes available related to the postgame situation, the league office will conduct a further review.”
Morant took to Twitter to address the investigation, and said posted this on Twitter: “seen they were cappin.”
Whether the people with Morant had a gun or not is irrelevant. This is becoming a thing with Morant, and the Grizzlies by extension.
As we’ve discussed, they are a much-talked-about team in the league, Tee Morant is doing way too much on the sidelines. Cheer on and support your son and his teammates. Don’t get into a back and forth with other players on opposing teams. For who? For what?
Ja is being sued by a teenager for allegedly punching him in the face over a pickup game at the NBA star’s home. The teenager alleged Ja Morant continued to pummel him while he was on the ground. The lawsuit also alleges Ja held the teenager up and asked others at his home “Should I do it to him?”
In the report detailing the incident after the Pacers game Ja’s friend Pack allegedly said to the Pacers, “Come get some of this” and “You don’t know how we roll” and “I’ll show you what I got.”
It was after that moment that the vehicle Morant was in with Pack and others allegedly flashed the red laser light on the Pacers.
None of this is good business for a superstar basketball player who is poised to do big things on the court. Adopting this persona is detrimental to his long-term future. Many people have lost their lives due to senseless gun violence. Why even pretend or joke about something like that?
FS1 “Undisputed” co-host Shannon Sharpe was succinct in his critique of Ja Morant.
“I wish Ja would realize he’s not a thug,” Sharpe said. “You’re not about that life! No one looks at you and thinks you’re hood. Stop pretending!!”
Acquaintances of Ja Morant reportedly aggressively confronted members of the Pacers organization:
"I wish Ja would realize he's not a thug. You're not about that life! No one looks at you and thinks you're hood. Stop pretending!!" — @ShannonSharpe pic.twitter.com/YSmx9lJKjC
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) February 6, 2023
ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins called out Ja and the Grizzlies last year for adopting a gangster persona.
“Here’s my advice to the Memphis Grizzlies,” Perkins said. “I love Ja, I love everything about their team. I’m gonna say that again. But y’all are not gangsters. Y’all are not hood. Y’all are professional basketball players that are really, really good. Matter of fact, y’all the best in the world. Leave the hood stuff and the hood sh-t where it’s at.”
Kendrick Perkins tells Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies that they are "not gangsters, not hood" 👀👀 pic.twitter.com/82SH9QjUjG
— Robert 💔💔 (@RobertRaymond46) June 28, 2022
The Grizzlies have lost eight of their last 10 games and no longer look like a serious championship contender.
As the leader, Ja Morant needs to look himself in the mirror and decide what it is he wants. This is not hyperbole; he and the Grizz are at a crossroads. Do they want to be a potential dynastic franchise and rank with the greats of all-time? Or do they want to be pretend to be tough guys and shift the focus away from basketball?
The choice is theirs, and it starts with Ja Morant.