Ja Morant sounds off on upcoming Grizzlies return: 'I've been counting down the days'

Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Five
Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Five / Justin Ford/GettyImages

It has been exactly 231 days since Memphis Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant last saw any semblance of in-game NBA action. Issued a 25-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the league, the point guard has been sidelined for every outing played thus far in 2023-24, including the preseason.

However, 23 contests in, Morant will only be relegated to the sidelines for just two more showings before he officially becomes eligible to make his return which, as he shared on his personal X account (formerly Twitter), he expects to be a full participant right from the get-go.

Just recently, the two-time All-Star was made available for team-based press conferences and, during his sit down on December 15 he vocalized his excitment for his upcoming return to the hardwood.

Ja Morant voices excitement for upcoming return to Memphis Grizzlies

"I wish the game was just earlier and this is me talking to y'all afterwards honestly. I can say it's been a while but it kind of went by fast. I feel like, like I said earlier, what helped me is being around the guys as much as I could be. [It] helped me through this and what helped this suspension go by fast. I've been counting down the days myself. I wake up every day and be like 'yea, you're one day closer.'"

Ja Morant

Despite not having been able to participate in any regular season action, Morant has been eligible to take part in team practices and other types of gatherings throughout his suspension. With such an opportunity for attendance, coach Taylor Jenkins has gone on record to state that the guard has been "unbelievable" throughout this whole process.

Morant finds himself approaching his December 19 return game against the New Orleans Pelicans fresh off a 2022-23 season where he posted tremendous averages of 26.2 points, 8.1 assists, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 46.6 percent from the field.

The hope now is that with the 24-year-old back in the fold, the 6-17 Grizzlies can start to inch their way closer to the road to redemption, a feat that, while certainly possible considering there are still 59 games remaining on the docket, has many media pundits expressing a serious level of skepticism.

Hopefully their star trio of Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Desmond Bane can prove the doubters wrong.