NBA commissioner Adam Silver was “shocked” when he saw Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant brandishing a gun in an Instagram Live video this past weekend.
Silver, speaking with Malika Andrews of ESPN ahead of the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery in Chicago Tuesday, added that the league is in the process of investigating the incident, though he admitted he’s “assuming the worst.”
“Honestly, I was shocked when I saw this weekend — that video,” Silver said. “Now, we’re in the process of investigating it, and we’ll figure out exactly what happened the best we can… I’m assuming the worst.”
Morant was recorded in the passenger seat of a friend’s car listening to NBA YoungBoy when the camera panned on Morant for a split second. That was enough time to make out the outline of a gun. The video has since been deleted by the original poster, @_dtap2 on Instagram, but screen grabs have kept the video online and has since made its rounds on social media.
The Grizzlies released a statement announcing the suspension of Morant from all team activities.
“We are aware of the social media video involving Ja Morant,” the statement read. “He is suspended from all team activities pending League review. We have no further comment at this time.”
This is the second time in two months that the two-time All-Star has found himself in hot water over waving a gun around on Instagram Live. Back in March, Morant filmed himself pointing a gun at his camera on Instagram Live in a nightclub in Denver. He ended up stepping away from basketball for a few weeks. Morant also enrolled himself in a Florida counseling program before returning to the court. He was suspended eight games without pay for the incident.
Adam Silver recalls meeting with Ja Morant
Morant met with Silver before returning from his suspension. Silver told Andrews he got the feeling Morant was taking the consequences from the first event “incredibly seriously.”
“An eight-game suspension was pretty serious. And something that he at least to me seemed to take incredibly seriously,” Silver said. “… We spoke for a long time about not just the consequences that could have on his career, but the safety issues around it. [He] could have injured, maimed, killed himself [or] someone else with an act like that.
“… I, at least, was left with the sense that he was taking this incredibly seriously, so, honestly, I was shocked.”