Grizzlies star Ja Morant issues strong statement on questionable player rankings

Oct 19, 2022; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) dribbles as Memphis
Oct 19, 2022; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) dribbles as Memphis / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

It has been 232 days since both Memphis Grizzlies and basketball fans as a whole last saw superstar Ja Morant take part in on-court NBA action which, based on the content pushed by some pundits and publications, seems to have been enough time to forget just how great of a baller he is.

Before the start of 2023-24, major sports outlets such as ESPN released their annual player rankings, and, despite his career averages, accolades, and overall accomplishments, the Grind City stud was seen falling significantly lower than where he had resided in previous years and had several individuals graded higher than him that, based on talent and star-power alone, had no reason to be.

During his December 15 press conference, Morant himself addressed his placement on this year's player rankings, noting that he "doesn't get mad about that stuff" and acknowledged that the league is filled to the brim with highly talented players, particularly ones like Jalen Brunson and Tyrese Haliburton who, just or not, have been ranked ahead of him.

Grizzlies' Ja Morant 'doesn't get mad' at placement on player rankings

"Hats off to [Brunson and Haliburton] for leading their teams and playing great. Obviously, the league has a lot of talented players. I have no say on who's better than me and who's not. Obviously, that's everybody else's opinion."

Ja Morant

The most noteworthy list where Brunson and Haliburton placed ahead of Morant was on ESPN's Top 100 ranks where they placed 32 and 21, respectively, compared to the Grizzlies star's 35 slot.

The guard's standing within these types of rankings has outwardly enraged Memphis fans throughout the season, with many heading to X (formerly Twitter) over the months since initial publishing to voice their frustrations on his questionable placement.

Throughout his five-year career, Morant has objectively turned himself into one of the game's biggest and brightest stars, as he sports stellar career averages of 22.4 points, 7.4 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.0 steals on 47.2 percent shooting from the field while coming across a Rookie of the Year award in 2019, two All-Star nods, and an All-NBA selection in 2022.

On top of these individual accomplishments, with the 24-year-old leading the charge the Grizzlies have come across two 50-plus win seasons and have embarked on three straight postseason berths.

While it seems some may have forgotten just how great Morant can be when lacing up on the hardwood, with his return from suspension slated to come in just a few days soon people will start to remember why he's revered as one of the best players the game has to offer.