NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expressed his disappointment Tuesday that Memphis Grizzlies Protect Ja Morant He apparently carried a firearm again on social media this past weekend, but didn’t predict what punishment the league might impose.
Morant has already been suspended from all team activity by the Grizzlies and the league has opened another investigation into the star guard’s off-court behavior.
Silver met Morant after a similar incident in March and suspended him for eight games.
“Honestly, I was shocked when, this weekend, I saw that video,” Silver said in a televised interview with ESPN prior to the Chicago draft lottery. “We’re investigating and we’ll find out exactly what happened as best we can. The video is a bit grainy and all that, but I’m assuming the worst. We’ll find out exactly what happened there.”
It is the second time in less than three months that Morant has been seen on Instagram with what appeared to be a weapon. The former resulted in an eight-match suspension that was issued in March and cost Morant about $669,000 in salary.
This time, the suspension could be much longer and much more expensive. The second video was taken on Saturday night and has been widely shared online. It was broadcast on Morant’s partner Davonte Pack’s Instagram account.
The video, broadcast by Pack, shows Morant in the passenger seat of a car, and is shown briefly displaying a gun. The very brief moment — perhaps less than a second — when Morant is shown wielding what appears to be a weapon while sitting in the passenger seat of a car, his live feed had 111 viewers.
“He could have injured, maimed or killed himself by doing so,” Silver said. “And also the recognition that he’s a superstar. He has an incredibly massive following. And my worry – and I think he shares mine – is that millions if not tens of millions of kids globally will see him as doing something that he was celebrating in the way a firearm was used in that way.”
When the season ended two weeks ago, Morant said again he needed to work on making the decision.
Morant said after the season-ending loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. “Being the captain of this team, it pretty much starts with me… I have to be better on the field.”
Morant’s five-year contract, worth $194 million maximum, is set to start next season. He has endorsement deals with Nike and Powerade, though the sports drink company pulled an ad featuring Morant almost immediately after the March video surfaced.
This is the NBA’s third known investigation into Morant and possible firearms involvement so far in 2023.
Morant’s actions were investigated after the January 29 incident in Memphis that he said resulted in Buck being banned from Grizzlies’ home games for a year.
This incident came after a match against Indiana Pacers; Citing unnamed sources, the Indianapolis Star and USA Today reported that several members of the Pacers saw a red dot pointing at them while near the loading dock where their bus is located, and The Athletic reported that a Pacers security guard believed the laser was attached to a gun .
The NBA confirmed that unnamed individuals were barred from entering the arena, but said its investigation found no evidence of anyone threatening a weapon.
Then came the Denver area incident in the early hours of March 4, after the Grizzlies played a road game against the Grizzlies. Nuggets When Morant goes live from inside a strip club while holding a gun. No charges were filed.
Morant and Buck are also involved in a civil lawsuit that was filed after an incident at Morant’s home last summer, in which a 17-year-old alleged assaulted him. Morant filed a counterclaim on April 12, accusing the teen of defamation, battery, and assault.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
Where does Ja Morant go from here after the recent alleged gun incident?
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