There’s been big news around the NBA over the latest week, from the San Antonio Spurs winning the jackpot to draft 7-foot-4 French phenom Victor Wenbanyama of the most fan fared NBA Draft Lottery since 2003 when the Cleveland Cavaliers drafted hometown hero LeBron James. On the negative side, another incident occurred on the Memphis Grizzlies superstar point Ja Morant’s Instagram alive this past Saturday of him flexing with a firearm with his friends in the car went viral on social media this past weekend.
The news was alarming, as just two months ago NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA suspended Morant for 17 days cost him to miss eight games back in March, even going to seek help at a facility in Florida for a few days which certainly wasn’t going to help him with what he called “stress” as he said he was struggling to deal with in a healthy way. Even sitting down with current NBA analyst/former NBA player Jalen Rose and meeting with Silver on how he’s learned from this and realizes how this isn’t good for him, or the league, while also putting his life in jeopardy.
After learning of the incident the Grizzlies went on to announce they have suspended Morant from all team activities indefinitely as they continue to further investigate the situation along with the league.
Now look, I’m a big NBA/Morant fan and I personally want to see the guy do well- We all do, but the incidents that have occurred this calendar year alone raise a bunch of red flags if I’m the NBA as this has been a pattern of concerning behavior now, as this is your franchise player, in the Grizzlies place, and one of the faces of the NBA as he is a human highlight film waiting to take your breath away every game with his dare devilish aerial exploits and finishes at the rim.
All that’s great, but his off-court issues have dimmed his reputation among many who look up to him with so many incidents from the last calendar year alone from the mall incident that involved him standing up for his mom, threatening Memphis Mall police allegedly, allegedly punched a 17-year old and flashed a gun, was in an SUV with friends that had a laser pointed at Indiana Pacers players after a game on Jan.29, and Mar.4 was the first incident that involved him flashing a gun at a club.
All these distractions have quieted those who were condoning and defending his first incident. Now many would go to the 2nd amendment (the right to bear arms) to defend Morant as he has the right to own a gun. The difference is, Morant isn’t just a regular civilian, he’s an NBA superstar part of a private entity that is the NBA that has very strict laws on firearms/weapons.
Morant has already lost $40 million by not making any of the three All-NBA teams which disqualifies him to be eligible for the supermax. He currently has a 5yr/$195 million contract that kicks in next season, and that is not even including the endorsement deals he has with Nike and Powerade, which might get revoked as well due to this pattern of behavior. The man has already lost tons of money and seems to be on his way to losing more.
What Morant is doing is extremely dangerous as he’s trying to portray the lifestyle of a rap gangsta with many people who are actually from the hood seeing this and it caused an uproar on social media with people who will actually show him what being a gangster is all about, which is not the life you want. He’s putting his life in jeopardy, his loved ones in jeopardy, as well as his career if he continues to be stupid off the floor.
This is what Adam Silver had to say at the Draft Lottery regarding the latest on Morant:
As you can see Silver’s facial expressions and body language he was deeply hurt by the recent actions of the Grizzlies star guard. We’ve seen gang violence take away millions of lives. Many people work hard their whole lives to get out of those types of environments and it seems Morant is trying to go the opposite direction as he’s worked so hard to build this type of brand for himself and is tarnishing it with self-inflicted stupidity on his part.
Expect the NBA and Silver to enforce a harsh punishment with a hefty suspension as a wakeup call to Morant and a message to the league as this type of behavior won’t be tolerated.
And lastly, let’s hope Morant gets his act together as millions of kids look up to him and many enjoy his otherworldly talent and what he brings to the league and sports… We don’t want to see him turn into a tragic story whether that’s him losing his career or god forbid his life.