The NBA announced Friday that Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant has been suspended for 25 games without pay. Morant has been pictured with a gun on social media twice this year. “The possibility that other young people will emulate Ja’s behavior is particularly concerning.” Under these circumstances, we believe a 25-game ban is appropriate and sends a clear message that reckless and irresponsible gun behavior will not be condoned,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated.
Morant’s suspension is effective immediately and will last through the first 25 games of the 2023-24 regular season, according to the NBA. According to the statement, on May 13, Morant “intentionally and prominently displayed a gun while in a car with several other individuals as they were leaving a social gathering in Memphis.” According to the NBA, Morant used the weapon despite knowing he was being recorded and that the recording was being live-streamed on Instagram Live.
Following that video, the Grizzlies suspended him. This incident occurred two months after he was suspended for eight games for displaying a gun in a live-streamed video at a Denver-area nightclub.
“Ballroom needs to take a back seat for Ja at this time,” Silver added. “Prior to his return to play, he will be required to develop and implement a league-wide program that directly addresses the circumstances that led him to repeat this destructive behavior.”
Morant is slated to earn nearly $33.5 million this season, according to the NBA, but he stands to lose little over $300,000 per game, or approximately $7.5 million, during this ban.
Morant, the 2020 Kia Rookie of the Year and a two-time All-Star in his first four seasons, led the Grizzlies to a 51-win season and the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. However, because of his ban, he will be ineligible for all end-of-season honours in 2024, including MVP and All-NBA, according to the NBA.