Recent poll projects major slight at Grizzlies star Ja Morant

Sacramento Kings v Memphis Grizzlies
Sacramento Kings v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages

Though Memphis Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant may still be a revered and overall beloved talent among NBA fans, when it comes to players scattered across the league it appears he's become somewhat of an afterthought.

Recently, The Athletic released results from a collection of polls in which anonymous players from the association participated. With questions ranging from who should win this year's MVP award to individuals "You’d least like to fight,” the talking points proved to be quite entertaining.

However, when it came to one specific topic of discussion, it became rather apparent that participants may be suffering from recency bias when it comes to their answers, for 11 names were found mentioned concerning the question of who players would sign first in the event that they were "building a roster from scratch," and, surprisingly, Morant was not one of them.

Omission of Grizzlies star Ja Morant a serious case of recency bias

Now, the vast majority are talents mentioned undoubtedly deserve to be in the conversation, with studs like Nikola Jokic, Victor Wembanyama, Luka Doncic, and Jayson Tatum all making the cut.

However, when seeing guys like a soon-to-be 40-year-old LeBron James and a still rather unproven Paolo Banchero making the cut over a 24-year-old, established All-NBA point guard who is only just now entering his prime in Morant when it comes to the topic of being a first choice when starting a team "from scratch" should absolutely be seen as a slight.

Heck, even if one wants to make the argument of "availability is the best ability" as a reason for his omission, as he's dealt with both suspensions and injuries these past few years and has missed time, then why is a guy like Joel Embiid, who has missed nearly half of his career due to injuries (played in 433 of a potential total of 800 regular season games) and is already in his 30s, receiving the seventh-highest share of votes in this department?

One must not forget just how special a player Morant is when on the floor.

Throughout his career, he's only proven capable of leading his Grizzlies to ample success, guiding the club to three postseason berths in his five seasons, two consecutive Southwest Division titles, and, in 2022, just their fourth semifinal appearance in franchise history.

Morant has done so all while posting sensational averages of 22.5 points, 7.4 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game and nabbing two All-Star selections and an All-NBA nod along the way.

Even this season, despite only coming in a nine-game sample size, the superstar showed why he's so vital for this Grizzlies team, as he went on to partake in buzzer-beating game winners and highlight reel slams, and posted averages of 25.1 points, 8.1 assists, and 5.6 rebounds on 47.1 percent shooting from the floor.

Without question, this poll was taken from players showcasing a considerable amount of short-term memory. Hopefully, Morant can have himself a renaissance season of sorts in 2024-25 and remind the sports world once again why he's considered to be one of the top-billed talents the game of basketball has to offer.