Grizzlies' Ja Morant put on blast following win over NOLA: 'You gotta grow up'

Memphis Grizzlies v New Orleans Pelicans
Memphis Grizzlies v New Orleans Pelicans / Sean Gardner/GettyImages

Tuesday night, the Memphis Grizzlies secured their fourth straight win and, in turn, have been undefeated since the return of Ja Morant, as they bested the New Orleans Pelicans in overtime by a final score 116-115.

An exhilarating outing that saw a slew of highlight reel plays and a near-20-point second-half comeback, the ball club's perseverance and will to win despite the odds was truly mesmerizing and is something that could set the tone for the rest of the season.

Yet, all anyone can seemingly talk about is the on-court gesture Morant made late in overtime following a sexy alley-oop slam off a dime from Marcus Smart.

After pushing the ball through nylon, the point guard landed and immediately started to make hand movements that, to many, looked as if he was throwing up fake gun symbols and, more specifically, a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG).

Grizzlies star Ja Morant blasted for celebration against Pelicans

In response to this, both fans and media pundits alike have shared their two cents on the specific celebration, with Chandler Parsons of the Run it Back podcast going as far as to verbally slam Morant on a December 27 episode, calling him out for immaturity while questioning if he had learned anything at all from his early-season suspension for gun-related matters.

"You gotta grow up. Why are we talking about this? Your team is 4-0, you've been unbelievable, you've now been probably forgiven to a certain point, especially in Memphis. The team is back to being yours, you're playing at an elite level. Why are you giving us anything like this to even talk about, to discuss that's negative... What else has to happen for you and your family and your friends to learn? Just make this about basketball, make this about your life, make this about your livelihood, and stop doing things like this."

Chandler Parsons on Ja Morant

Parsons would continue on to say that Morant is "must-see TV," and suggested that by displaying acts such as this, particularly after already serving out two suspensions within the past year for gun-related issues, it brings unnecessary negative attention and leaves the door open for more problems moving forward.

The fact that this has been the main storyline from a game where the Grizzlies successfully overcame a 17-point deficit while Morant himself dropped 31 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal is truly unfortunate.

While the star's presence in the lineup certainly makes Memphis both different and overall more menacing, it's situations like these that spark fear of seeing even more potentially self-destructive acts from him moving forward.