Grizzlies: Latest Ja Morant slander shows NBA fans suffer from severe recency bias

Nov 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA;  Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) protects the ball
Nov 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) protects the ball / Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

Superstar guard Ja Morant sat out for all but nine games during the 2023-24 season, which served as easily the biggest factor in the lackluster 27-55 finish the Memphis Grizzlies endured.

However, team success wasn't the only thing that took a major hit due to the 24-year-old's absence, for his standing among the league's elite has been under serious scrutiny for the vast majority of the campaign.

Now, it has come to the point where some are going as far as to argue that he's fallen out of the discussion for being considered the face of the NBA's next generation of stars, with many pointing to Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards as his successor.

After guiding Minnesota to the third-best record in the Western Conference at 56-26, the two-time All-Star currently finds himself raising his level of play to even greater heights under the bright lights of the postseason where he's been averaging a mesmerizing 31.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 2.0 steals.

Led by his play, the Wolves have also officially clinched their first semifinals berth in 20 years.

Without a doubt, Edwards is one of the best young superstars this league has to offer and what he's been able to do in just his fourth season in the association is something that cannot be overstated.

However, with that being all well and true, to say with strong conviction that he's now surpassed the Grizzlies cornerstone in the pecking order for being deemed the face of the league seems to be a prime example of recency bias.

Fans say Grizzlies' Ja Morant has been surpassed by Anthony Edwards

Just two season ago we saw Morant leading the charge for a second-seeded Memphis team while constantly executing highlight-reel plays and putting up sensational averages of 27.4 points, 6.7 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per night.

That same year, he would go on to win the league's Most Improved Player award, nabbed his first All-NBA nod, and finished seventh in the running for MVP all while leading his team to a highly competitive second-round bout against the eventual NBA Champion Golden State Warriors while averaging 27.1 points, 9.8 assists, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals throughout.

Injuries and, admittedly, off-court issues have hindered his availability over these last two seasons, but they have certainly not diluted his on-court production and overall improtance to a team that, when fully intact, is considered a legitimate threat to take home the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

Heck, these aforementioned hiccups haven't even seemed to derail his popularity among the NBA's fanbase from a merchandise perspective, as the Grizzlies star found his No. 12 jersey ranking 11 in sales this past season.

Interestingly enough, Edwards, the player many keyboard warriors have claimed to have clearly surpassed Morant, didn't even find his No. 5 rank within the top 15.

Again, Edwards is one of the brightest young studs the NBA has to offer and his efforts on the year and during the T-Wolves' playoff run should not be seen as anything less than sensational. That said, to anoint him as the clear choice as the new face of the future during a campaign Morant was limited to less than 10 games is a bit premature and, frankly, disrespectful.

Is he soundly in the discussion for such a moniker? Absolutely! But so is Ja Morant... and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander... and Luka Doncic.

The list of possible choices is truly astonishing, but one best remember that the Grizzlies guard is on it.