MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The NBA is suspending Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant for eight games without pay for conduct detrimental to the league.
Morant has been away from the Grizzlies since a video was posted to social media from inside a club that appeared to show the two-time all-star waving a gun.
In a statement, the NBA said the league did not conclude that the gun belonged to Morant, that he brought it to the nightclub, or displayed it beyond a brief period of time. The investigation also didn’t find that Morant had the gun while traveling with the team or in an NBA facility.
The league said Morant was intoxicated at the time.
Morant met Wednesday with league commissioner Adam Silver as they awaited the findings of an NBA investigation and has reportedly left a counseling program.
“Ja’s conduct was irresponsible, reckless, and potentially very dangerous,” Silver said. “It also has serious consequences given his enormous following and influence, particularly among young fans who look up to him. He has expressed sincere contrition and remorse for his behavior. Ja has also made it clear to me that he has learned from this incident and that he understands his obligations and responsibility to the Memphis Grizzlies and the broader NBA community extend well beyond his play on the court.”
Morant already has served six games of that suspension. He will be eligible to return when the team takes on the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, March 20.
The Grizzlies point guard sat with ESPN’s Jalen Rose for a one-on-one interview. During their talk, Morant acknowledged he’d made mistakes and said he’s determined to become a better role model.
“I can see the image that I painted over myself with my recent mistakes. But in the future, I’m going to show everybody who Ja really is and what I’m about and change this narrative that everybody got painted over me,” he said.
When asked what he’d been doing over the last ten days, Morant responded, “Just learning I can open up. I can express my feelings, and that’s okay to be able to toe express your feelings, so I was constantly talking to therapists. I’ve been doing treatment, I’ve been doing anxiety breathing, different stuff to help me manage that and release all that stuff from my body.”