HomeSportsNBAJa Morant issues statement in wake of suspension, Adam Silver comments

Ja Morant issues statement in wake of suspension, Adam Silver comments

by Nick Geddes
Ja Morant
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant issued a statement Tuesday in the aftermath of NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s comments after he was seen brandishing a gun in an Instagram Live video this past weekend.

Morant took full accountability for the incident, adding that he’s “continuing to work” on himself.

“I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people who have supported me,” Morant said, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. “This is a journey and I recognize there is more work to do. My words may not mean much right now, but I take full accountability for my actions. I’m committed to continuing to work on myself.”

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.”

Adam Silver ‘shocked’ by Ja Morant video

Silver, speaking with Malika Andrews of ESPN ahead of the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery in Chicago Tuesday, said 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.”

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 reacts to Ja Morant’s latest incident involving a gun

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.”

“We talked directly about the consequences first,” Silver said. “Before we got to a subsequent potential to have done something wrong, we were very focused on the misconduct that was in front of us at the time. Frankly, most of our conversation was about how incredibly serious the first incident was of waving a firearm on social media.

“An eight-game suspension was pretty serious. And something that he at least to me seemed to take incredibly seriously… 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.”