Grizzlies news: Ja Morant suspended next two games

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant-Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant-Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Before we get started, allow me to say this. These types of pieces do not bring me any joy to write whatsoever. If you’re reading this, you’re clearly a fan of this organization and want what’s best for them. So the fact that it seems as though we have to defend our star player from the National media on a weekly basis can be tiresome. Yet, here we are again after another Ja Morant incident, having to explain his actions. However, this time, we aren’t defending him.

On his Instagram live, Ja Morant appeared to flash a small firearm during his stream very briefly, while in a strip club. There is so much wrong with this sentence. Firstly, if you’re in a strip club, fine. You’re a star athlete with more than $200 million dollars. We get it. You want to enjoy your life. However, why flash a firearm? Who are you trying to impress? This has been said repeatedly, but now allow me to chime in. Temetrius Jamel Morant, you sir are an NBA athlete. You are not a gangster. Why you want people to believe you are is something I simply cannot understand.

I’m also not going to say “we all did things in our early 20s we regret” because yes that’s true. However, we also weren’t worth over $200 million dollars. Regardless of how reckless this action is, do you know who really needs to answer for this? The Memphis Grizzlies. What have you done about this? Where’s the accountability? Has anyone sat him down and talked to him about his behavior?

Grizzlies decision makers take first step in  addressing Ja Morant

Per Grizzlies PR on Twitter, Ja Morant has been suspended for the next two games. He will miss playing against the Clippers and the Lakers. One can imagine this was a decision made by Zach Kleiman and the rest of the front office. Though this is a good first step, they must continue to send a unified message to Ja Morant in saying this type of behavior will not be tolerated. His being young is no longer a valid excuse for poor behavior. The fans deserve better than this. We shouldn’t have to defend our star player’s actions day after day because of his poor, immature behaviors.

We all know how insanely gifted and talented Ja Morant is. We also know what kind of man he can be. We’ve seen him embrace Memphis so quickly, and become one of the most beloved athletes in the city in a short amount of time. All we ask is that he does this on a national stage. We know you’re a good person. We also know this organization is composed of brilliant people. It’s time to show that.

The Grizzlies should be preparing for a nice run once Steven Adams returns soon, but instead, they have this to contend with. Suspending him sends the right message but they will need to have a real plan to avoid these issues in the future. Otherwise, they could be asking themselves the “what if” question a lot sooner than they would like.