Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant apologized last week for an incident he was involved in where a teenage boy was allegedly threatened with a firearm in a nightclub.
Morant told former NBA star and current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose that he has been seeking therapy to deal with some mental and emotional issues. The star player says that he felt remorse for what had occurred and that he was looking to make some changes going forward. He insisted that he is not a violent person.
“It’s not who I am. I don’t condone any type of violence, but I take full responsibility for my actions,” Morant said during the interview. “I made a bad mistake, and 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, what I’m about, and change this narrative.”
— ESPN (@espn) March 15, 2023
Morant received an eight-game suspension from NBA Commissioner following the video being posted on Instagram that allegedly showed the NBA All-Star flashing a gun at the 17-year-old at a Colorado nightclub. However, Denver Police decided not to charge Morant with any crime.
In the continuing effort to quell the number of off-the-court incidents, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver disciplined Morant anyway, saying that the 23-year-old player acted irresponsibly.
“Ja’s conduct was irresponsible, reckless, and potentially very dangerous,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “It also has serious consequences given his enormous following and influence, particularly among young fans who look up to him.”
Despite Morant making this public offering that he is trying to make some changes, it’s been met with some skepticism. Especially by the media and especially some of the NBA stars of the past.
Throughout this process, NBA Hall of Famer and NBA on TNT analyst Charles Barkley, who is never at a loss for words, has said that while he feels for Morant, it’s time for the young player to focus on his maturity. Without mincing words, Sir Charles says bluntly that it’s time to “grow up” for the Memphis guard.
“It’s time for Ja Morant to grow up,” Barkley said on a recent broadcast. “Next year, his new deal kicks in which is worth five years, and $231 million. Man, you can’t screw this up. You’re one of the best basketball players we got in this league. You’re one of the new faces of our league. Everybody loves the way you play, and you’re out here acting like a damn fool and idiot.”
Chuck: “It’s time for Ja Morant to grow up.” pic.twitter.com/IIBR0vR5Pc
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 10, 2023
Morant is averaging 27.1 points per game for the Grizzlies this season. He is set to rejoin the team on Monday (March 20th), when he was completed his suspension.