It is Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies versus the world yet again. Gilbert Arenas is the latest to take a shot at the young Grizzlies star about his antics on and off the court. The young team is exciting, bold, trash-talking, and are just all-around good for the entertainment aspect of the NBA.
Lately, we have seen them rub fans of opposing teams, opposing players, and spectators of the NBA the wrong way at times with how they constantly tiptoe the imaginary line that people feel you shouldn’t cross as a professional athlete.
What Arenas said?
Arenas appeared on Bomani Jones HBO show “Game Theory” and spoke about Morant’s recent situations that involved the Pacers’ allegations of a red beam being pointed into one of their cars and some of his on-court antics.
“I don’t know why we get to the NBA we want to be a little harder than we supposed to be. It’s like it’s the opposite. Like yo, we worked our asses off to get here, to get away from that,” said Arenas. “So be according. You don’t need to be street and pretend to be tough like, we don’t want to fight. We really don’t, so when you see one, it’s like, oh, that’s a real one. That fine let’s you know that punch wasn’t worth it.“
Jones responded, “Now, Gilbert, you do know that people are hearing this and saying that ‘why we do want to pretend like we are harder than we are’ and you brought all them guns to work that one time.”
“No, but see, I can speak on it, though. I can speak on it now. I know like that’s pretending to be … well, mine I was calling a bluff,” Arenas replied.
"I don't know why when we get to the NBA, we want to be a little harder than we supposed to be…You don't need to be street and pretend to be tough like, we don't want to fight."
Gilbert Arenas on @GameTheoryHBO pic.twitter.com/BCBCTCCSpt
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) February 14, 2023
Other Athletes to Take Shots At Morant
Shannon Sharpe got on his soapbox about Morant after the Pacers incident. A player allegedly told the NBA that Morant and his entourage shined a red beam light that they thought was attached to a weapon inside their vehicle following an altercation that happened during the game.
Morant said it wasn’t true, but an investigation was launched, and that led to media discussions about the situation.
“I wish Ja would realize he’s not a thug,” Sharpe said on “Undisputed.” “Ja is a really good basketball player. Ja did everything he could to lift himself and his family out of this environment and to get away from this. And for some reason he wants to surround himself with these types of people. Why? Bro, you not hard. That’s not your life. People that in that life would give anything to be in your life.”
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
Sauce Gardner and Kendrick Perkins also weighed in on the actions of Morant on Twitter.
“Pro Athletes, if you really from the trenches, you ain’t gotta prove it everytime you know eyes on you. Alot of y’all ain’t even like that forreal and THATS FINE! All your life, you grind to go pro, make it pro & start making millions, and then turn gangsta? That’s backwards,” Gardner tweeted on Feb. 6.
Pro Athletes, if you really from the trenches, you ain’t gotta prove it everytime you know eyes on you. Alot of y’all ain’t even like that forreal and THATS FINE!💯All your life, you grind to go pro, make it pro & start making millions, and then turn gangsta? That’s backwards❕
— D’ROY GARDNER (@iamSauceGardner) February 6, 2023
The majority of fans have sided with Sharpe and Arenas. Some have come in his defense and suggested on social media that Morant is being outcast like Michael Vick, Allen Iverson, Stephen Jackson, and other black athletes were during the heights of their careers. Those players were constantly criticized for their hairstyles, baggy clothing, jewelry, and the people they chose to hang with in their free time.
Morant hasn’t responded much to the ‘hood allegations’ by critics. He did send out a cryptic tweet on Feb. 7 that said, “iann acrobatic iann flippin on my bros.”
iann acrobatic iann flippin on my bros
— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) February 7, 2023