Ja Morant will serve a 25-game suspension to start the 2023-24 NBA season, but he has a message for everyone once he’s allowed back on the court.
Morant’s suspension stems from the long-awaited discipline the NBA imposed on him for his second incident of brandishing a firearm, this time on his friend Davonte Pack’s Instagram Live while in a vehicle.
But while the NBA world condemned Morant’s actions, veteran guard Isaiah Thomas is trying to look positively into the new year. He believes that Morant will dominate when he is allowed back with the Memphis Grizzlies.
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Derrick Rose signing with the team is a big reason why.
«Look what kind of season Ja has next year with D rose attached to his hip all year. Once he comes off suspension he’s going to have his best season yet. That D rose presence will have him on some MVP s — … Look!»
Morant fired back at Thomas, saying, «You’re too strong OG. They’re going to feel me fasho.»
An hour after sending that tweet, Morant had another to add that seemed to be in reference to what’s going on right now.
NBA SUSPENSES GRIZZLIES’ JA MORANT 25 GAMES AFTER SECOND ONLINE GUN INCIDENT: ‘ALARM AND DISCONCERNED’
«You know life isn’t tied with a bow but it’s still a gift though…yes life isn’t fair but it’s still good it’s a blessing to be here…» Morant tweeted.
Morant also participates in the NBA Summer League, where the Grizzlies faced the Oklahoma City Thunder in Las Vegas. He said, «our young bulls > yours» with a bunch of bear emojis that probably represent the Grizzlies.
The league suspended Morant 25 games after the NBA Finals, though commissioner Adam Silver said the league was waiting until after the Finals were over so as not to distract the two teams that battled to get there.
«Ja Morant’s decision to resume carrying a firearm on social media is alarming and disconcerting given his similar conduct in March for which he has already been suspended eight games,» Silver said in a statement.
«The potential for other youth to emulate Ja’s conduct is particularly troubling. Under these circumstances, we believe a 25-game suspension is appropriate and makes it clear that reckless and irresponsible behavior with weapons will not be tolerated.»
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«For Ja, basketball needs to take a backseat at this point. Prior to his return to the game, he will be required to formulate and comply with a program with the league that directly addresses the circumstances that led him to repeat this destructive behavior.»
Morant was previously suspended eight games in March during the regular season after displaying a firearm while at a Denver nightclub. He was intoxicated in that incident.
Since Morant won’t be paid for the first 25 games, he’s giving up roughly $7.5 million — $300,000 per game — as he was set to make $33.5 million this upcoming season.
But perhaps Rose’s veteran presence in the Memphis locker room is a factor in getting Morant back on track in the public eye.
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When he’s on the court, he’s the dynamic two-way player the Grizzlies drafted No. 2, but his incidents off the court are troubling considering he’s set to start a five-year, $197.23 million deal next year.