Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant has been suspended eight games by the NBA for an incident on March 4, in which he flashed a gun while streaming video on Instagram at a Denver nightclub, the league announced Wednesday.
“Ja’s conduct was irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous,” 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. He has expressed sincere contrition and remorse for his behavior. Ja has also made it clear to me that he has learned from this incident and that he understands his obligations and responsibility to the Memphis Grizzlies and the broader NBA community extend well beyond his play on the court.”
Morant met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver in New York City on Wednesday as he takes steps closer to a return to play, according to a report from ESPN.
Morant recently checked in to a counseling program in Florida following his indefinite suspension for the March 4 incident. The Grizzlies initially announced Morant would be away from the team for at least two games, but on March 8, they announced he would miss at least the next four games.
Ahead of the Grizzlies’ game against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, Memphis head coach Taylor Jenkins didn’t provide a specific timeline for when Morant could return.
“There are a lot of internal dialogues going on and obviously there’s still things going on at the league level that we’re in communication with,” Jenkins said. “Ja’s fully engaged in this process and ready for whatever comes next after these 2 games.”
Morant avoided criminal charges for holding possession of the gun at the nightclub, with the Glendale, Colorado police department saying “there was not enough available evidence to charge anyone with a crime” following an investigation.
The NBA is still investigating Morant as league rules prohibit a player from possessing a firearm while on team property or traveling on team business.
Morant apologized for the incident hours after the video circulated.
“I take full responsibility for my actions last night,” Morant said in a statement on March 4. “I’m sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis, and the entire Grizzlies organization for letting you down. I’m going to take some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being.”
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