Ja Morant might be one of the NBA’s hottest young stars, but a recent social media faux pas – which has seen him flash a pistol around on Instagram Live for a second time – has once again cast doubt on his career.
The Memphis Grizzlies superstar had a superb 2023 season where he averaged career-highs in rebounds (5.9 RPG) and assists (8.1 APG) while also scoring 26.2 points per game. But his success on the basketball court has been overshadowed by his shortcomings off it.
Just when everybody thought that Ja Morant had learned his lesson after his first gun-flashing incident three months ago, he is in hot water again for making the same mistake.
Ja with a gun again
Morant was seen again with a gun in an Instagram Live video allegedly recorded last Saturday. In the video, Morant can be seen waving what looked like a pistol from the driver’s seat of a slow-moving car.
That marked the second time in three months that the Grizzlies superstar has been caught on video holding a handgun. The first time it happened, the NBA suspended him for eight games.
This time around, the punishment could be more severe. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Morant could be facing a lengthy suspension from the league as this affects the league’s ability to market its players and teams.
A turbulent season for Morant
This latest incident is just one of the many dark episodes of what has been a turbulent year off the court for Ja Morant.
He was sued for assault by Memphis prospect Joshua Hamilton after Morant allegedly punched the high school basketball player in the face while flashing a handgun during a pick-up game at Morant’s house last year.
Morant was also investigated by the NBA over an incident where his friends reportedly threatened members of the staff of the Indiana Pacers by pointing a red laser from a slow-moving SUV that supposedly Ja was riding on. He was however absolved of that charge after the NBA could not corroborate those allegations.
Morant’s Grizzlies were the second seed in the Western Conference but found themselves having an early vacation after getting upset by LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers in the opening round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.
Grizzlies have suspended Morant
In the wake of his latest exploits, the Grizzlies have suspended Morant from all team activities pending review from the league. The team did not provide any other comment on the matter.
“We are aware of the social media post involving Ja Morant and are in the process of gathering more information,” NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said in a statement Sunday.
Powerade cancelled Morant’s endorsement deal in the aftermath of last March’s gun-flashing video. Nike also moved the release of his signature shoe JA1 from April 1 to April 19. But given this is the second time it has happened, the effects could be worse.
Morant signed a five-year $194 million contract extension last July 2022. That deal kicks in next season. The deal could have been upgraded to a super-max contract had Morant been named to one of the NBA’s three All-NBA teams. He looked deserving of that nod until his suspension. The snub cost Ja an additional $39 million in contract money.