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MEMPHIS – After missing almost a month with injury and a stay in the NBA’s COVID protocols, it was not exactly the return Ja Morant was hoping for Monday night against Oklahoma City.

His biggest disappointment: the reaction from some Grizz fans inside FedExForum in a loss to the Thunder.

It’s just a few.  

A few that don’t speak for the masses but during Monday night’s game, after missing 12 games and still putting up 16 points, six rebounds and 8 assists, Morant actually heard Grizzlies fans saying he should have stayed sidelined.  Hinting that he was bringing down a team that had won 10 of 12 during his absence.

“It was just frustrating.  Even during the game, running down the court, I heard some of our fans courtside, told me I need to sit back out.  From people who were chanting MVP a while ago,” Morant said. “It’s frustrating.  When guys or anyone says anything negative about me, it normally fuels me but tonight, remarks from those fans actually hurt.  But, I’ll do what I normally do and bounce back.”

“At the end of the day, people just want something to talk about and Ja is an easy target because he’s the best player on the team, he’s an all-star in his third year and we happen to win some games. It’s nonsense,” said Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane.  “There was something that popped up on my phone that said ‘trade Ja Morant’, but he’ll be in Memphis as long as he wants to be in Memphis, he’s our franchise for sure.”

Morant and the Grizzlies head to San Francisco to take on Steph Curry and the Warriors on Thursday night.