Grizzlies’ Ja Morant out no less than two video games amid NBA investigation


The NBA has opened an investigation after Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant appeared to indicate off a gun on a late-night social media video stream early Saturday morning.

In the hours after the Grizzlies misplaced to the Denver Nuggets on Friday, the 23-year-old Morant went dwell on Instagram. During the video stream, which was clipped and shared on other social media platforms, Morant sings alongside to a rap track, dances with a buddy and briefly seems to carry up a gun to the digital camera. The Grizzlies are scheduled to play the Clippers in Los Angeles on Sunday.

“We are aware of a social media post involving Ja Morant and are investigating,” an NBA spokesman mentioned Saturday.

The Grizzlies announced later Saturday that Morant “will be away from the team for at least the next two games.” After Sunday’s recreation towards the Clippers, the Grizzlies are scheduled to play the Lakers, additionally in L.A., on Tuesday evening.

On Saturday afternoon, Morant appeared to disable his accounts on each Instagram and Twitter.

Morant might face a nice or suspension for the video, which comes days after The Washington Post reported on a pair of Memphis police stories linking Morant to allegations of an assault and threatening conduct. The Grizzlies and Morant’s agent, Jim Tanner, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Brewer: Ja Morant turned himself into an icon. It’s time to behave like one.

In one incident that occurred at Morant’s dwelling final summer time, a teen alleged that Morant had flashed a gun at him after a combat. In a postgame confrontation in January, members of the Indiana Pacers alleged that Morant or considered one of his associates had shined a laser beam at them. The NBA investigated that incident on the time and couldn’t conclude {that a} gun had been current.

Morant wasn’t charged in any of the incidents, and Tanner issued a statement Wednesday denying any use of weapons by Morant within the incidents.

“Any and every allegation involving a firearm has been fully investigated and could not be corroborated,” Tanner mentioned. “This includes the NBA investigation last month, in which they found no evidence.”

Tanner mentioned the incident involving {the teenager} final summer time “was purely self defense. Again, after this was fully investigated by law enforcement, they came to the decision not to charge Ja with any crime. Any of the dozens of witnesses will confirm Ja acted in self-defense and that he did not have a firearm.”

The teenager, who can also be concerned in a lawsuit towards Morant, instructed police that Morant had repeatedly punched him within the head, knocking him to the bottom. Morant countered that the boy had deliberately thrown a ball at his head after which stepped towards him and pulled up his pants, which he interpreted as a sign that {the teenager} wished to combat.

After the altercation, the boy alleged that he was being escorted off the property when Morant re-emerged from his dwelling with a gun within the waistband of his pants.

In transcripts of police interviews final summer time, Morant confirmed he owned a handgun. Police later talked about {the teenager}’s allegation that he had flashed a gun after their combat, however didn’t straight ask Morant whether or not it had occurred. Neither Morant nor his legal professional subsequently denied the incident, the transcript exhibits. Morant’s attorneys produced plenty of affidavits from witnesses current on the combat who don’t point out the presence of a gun.

Morant, the second total decide within the 2019 draft and a two-time all-star, has led the Grizzlies to a 38-24 report, good for the No. 2 seed within the Western Conference. The Murray State product inked a five-year, $193 million extension with the Grizzlies final summer time, and he holds important endorsement offers with Nike and Powerade.

Incidents involving weapons have grow to be uncommon within the fashionable NBA, particularly after former Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas was suspended for 50 video games throughout the 2009-10 season for bringing 4 handguns into the crew’s locker room. Javaris Crittenton, Arenas’s teammate on the time, additionally served a prolonged suspension for his function within the incident with Arenas, which included brandishing his personal gun, then chambering a dwell spherical in it. Stephen Jackson was suspended for seven video games in 2007 after pleading responsible in response to an incident during which he fired a gun exterior a strip membership in a 2006 incident.

Shortly after The Post’s report was revealed final week, Morant appeared to have a good time a teammate’s basket in a Wednesday victory over the Houston Rockets by using his hands to simulate shooting a gun. Last May, Morant replied to a person on Twitter that it was “free to see how hollows feel,” an obvious gun-related menace. Morant later deleted the message.

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