Ja Morant – The Memphis Grizzlies were dealt a setback when one of their most crucial players, Ja Morant, was forced to sit out.
The ban would last two games, but it was nothing he did with the team that caused him to be sidelined.
Instead, Ja Morant was suspended following his weekend gun exhibition.
The Memphis Grizzlies lost their game against the Denver Nuggets over the weekend.
Afterwards, Ja Morant went live on social media while partying in a Denver-area bar.
He then showed a pistol, prompting the Grizzlies to suspend him.
While Morant has received a two-game suspension, it might be extended if investigations reveal that he carried the pistol on team premises, including:
- The team’s plane
- Memphis’ bus
- The locker room
To understand more about the circumstances, the NBA and Colorado police initiated investigations.
If Ja Morant is found guilty of misconduct, the NBA could punish him in addition to a possible lengthy sentence.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NBA and the NBPA expressly stipulates that players are not permitted to carry guns while on league business.
Ja Morant’s pistol exhibition begs the question: did he bring the gun into team property?
The CBA drafted a long constitution prohibiting NBA players from owning weapons, stating:
“Whenever a player is physically present at a facility or venue owned, operated, or being used by a Team, the NBA, or any League-related entity, and whenever a player is traveling on any NBA-related business, whether on behalf of the player’s Team, the NBA, or any League-related entity, such player shall not possess a firearm of any kind or any other deadly weapon.”
“For purposes of the foregoing, “a facility or venue” includes, but is not limited to: an arena, a practice facility; a Team or League office or facility; an All-Star or NBA Playoff venue; and the site of a promotional or charitable appearance.”
Breach of the constitution results in disciplinary action by the NBA under CBA Article 35(D), which states:
“The Commissioner shall have the power to suspend for a definite or indefinite period, or to impose a fine not exceeding $1,000,000 or inflict both such suspension and fine upon any person who, in his opinion, shall have been guilty of conduct prejudicial or detrimental to the Association.”
If Ja Morant is found to have violated the agreement, commissioner Adam Silver has the authority to penalize him.
By then, he will have the option of fining the Grizzlies star up to a million dollars and/or extending his sentence.
There is currently no defined suspension length.
If Ja Morant is suspended, Silver will determine the length.
Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins stated on Sunday night that Ja Morant is aware that he made difficult judgments and terrible choices for which he must accept responsibility.
He did not play in the Clippers’ and Lakers’ games in Los Angeles on Sunday and Tuesday, respectively.
“Very tough moment, for sure,” said Jenkins regarding the video.
Colorado police stated on Monday that they were investigating Ja Morant’s activities to see if he had broken any laws.
According to the footage, he was in Glendale, a neighborhood known for its strip clubs and commercial malls.
As per Captain Jamie Dillon, no calls or complaints regarding Ja Morant were received by the police.
Nevertheless, the police initiated an investigation on Saturday when the video went viral online.
“He’s definitely embracing the mistakes that he’s made, but only time will tell,” said Jenkins.
“We’re going to support him and we’re going to hold him accountable to make those changes.
The Grizzlies coach, however, refused to elaborate on what Ja Morant would need to accomplish to rejoin the squad.
“We love him, we want what’s best for him, we support him. It’s going to be a difficult process but we’ve got a great group to get through this.”
Other league investigations
Following an event on January 29, Ja Morant was the subject of yet another league investigation.
He reportedly caused a friend to be prohibited from attending home games for a year.
Numerous media sites stated that the Indiana Pacers were targeted by a red dot.
A team security guard thought the laser came from a gun, but further examinations revealed no indication of a weapon threat.
The person was then barred from the venue.
“This is a tough time for a young kid that’s got to grow and get better,” said the Grizzlies coach.
“He’s got huge responsibilities not just for the team, for the city, but I know how he’s built with that care factor and what steps he’s now taking.”
“It’s a step in the direction of really being the best version of himself.”
“My hope is that he just gets better,” Jenkins continued. “He knows he’s got a lot of love and support.”
Image source: Marca