NBA Commissioner Adam Silver ‘shocked’ by latest Ja Morant video

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday expressed his disappointment that Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant appeared to have a firearm again on social media last weekend, but did not predict what punishment can the league impose.

Morant has already been suspended from all team activities by the Grizzlies and the league has opened another investigation into the star guard’s off-court conduct.

Silver met with Morant after a similar incident in March and suspended him for eight games.

“Honestly, I was shocked when I saw, this weekend, that video,” Silver said in a televised interview with ESPN before the lottery drawing in Chicago. “We’re in the process of investigating it and we’re going to find out exactly what happened as best we can. The video is a little grainy and all, but I guess that’s the worst. We’re going to find out exactly what happened. there.”

It’s the second time in less than three months that Morant has been seen on Instagram holding what appears to be a gun. The first led to the eight-game suspension that was handed down in March and cost Morant about $669,000 in salary.

This time, the suspension could be much longer and much more expensive. The second video was captured on Saturday night and was widely shared online. It was relayed to Morant associate Davonte Pack’s Instagram account.

Video played by Pack shows Morant in the passenger seat of a vehicle, briefly appearing to brandish a gun. In the very brief moment, perhaps less than a second, when Morant is shown holding what appears to be a gun while sitting in the passenger seat of a vehicle, the live stream had 111 viewers.

“Someone else could have been hurt, maimed, killed, by an act like that,” Silver said. “And also the recognition that he’s a star. He has an incredibly huge following. And my concern, and I thought he shared with me, that millions if not tens of millions of kids around the world would see him as having done something that he was celebrating it in a way to use a firearm in that way.”

When the season ended a couple of weeks ago, Morant again said he needed to work on his decision-making.

“Being disciplined on both ends, off the court making better decisions and on the court even more blocked,” Morant said after a season-ending loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. “Being a leader on this team, it almost starts with me…I have to be better in that area.”

Morant’s five-year, $194 million max contract begins this coming season. He has endorsement deals with Nike and Powerade, though the sports drink company pulled an ad with Morant almost immediately after the March video surfaced.

This is the third known NBA investigation into Morant and the possible involvement of firearms so far in 2023.

Grizzlies suspend Ja Morant after another shooting incident

Grizzlies suspend Ja Morant after another shooting incident

Morant’s actions came under investigation after a Jan. 29 incident in Memphis that he said resulted in Pack being banned from Grizzlies home games for a year.

This incident followed a game against the Indiana Pacers; citing unnamed sources, The Indianapolis Star and USA Today reported that several members of the Pacers saw a red dot pointed at them while they were near the loading dock where their bus was located, and The Athletic reported that a guard Pacers security believed the laser was attached to a gun.

The NBA confirmed that unnamed people were banned from the arena, but said its investigation found no evidence that anyone was threatened with a weapon.

Then came the Denver-area incident in the early hours of March 4, after the Grizzlies played a road game against the Nuggets when Morant started a live stream from a strip club while holding a gun No charges were filed.

Morant and Pack are also involved in a civil lawsuit filed after an incident at Morant’s home last summer in which a 17-year-old alleged he was assaulted. Morant filed a counterclaim on April 12, accusing the teenager of defamation, assault and battery.

Report from The Associated Press.

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