There’s no timetable for Ja Morant’s return to the Memphis Grizzlies, and the All-Star guard knows he’s made “tough decisions and bad choices” for which he needs to be held accountable, coach Taylor Jenkins said Sunday night.
Morant was not with the team in Los Angeles for games against the Clippers on Sunday and the Lakers on Tuesday while the NBA investigates a social media post in which Morant appeared to be carrying a gun.
“Very difficult moment, for sure,” Jenkins said of the video.
Morant shared video on his Instagram account early Saturday of himself holding what appeared to be a gun at a nightclub, hours after playing in Denver. In a statement through the agency that represents him, he has assured that he takes “full responsibility” for his actions and that he had to “take some time to get help”.
“He understands that he’s made some tough decisions and bad choices in the past that he needs to take into account,” Jenkins said. “He’s definitely coming to terms with the mistakes he’s made, but only time will tell. We’re going to support him and hold him accountable for making those changes.”
Jenkins declined to outline the steps Morant needs to take to rejoin the team, saying, “We love him, we want the best for him, we support him. It’s going to be a difficult process, but we have a great group for him. overcome this.”
He called it “an ongoing healing process.”
The league, if it finds violations, could fine or suspend Morant.
Morant was also the subject of a league investigation after a Jan. 29 incident in Memphis that it said resulted in a friend of his being banned from home games for a year. This incident happened after a game against the Indiana Pacers. Several media outlets reported that members of the Pacers saw a red dot pointed at them, and a team security guard 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.
“This is a tough time for a young kid who needs to grow up and get better,” Jenkins said. “He has big responsibilities not only for the team, for the city, but I know how he’s built himself with that care factor and what steps he’s taking now. It’s a step in the direction of really being the best version of himself same”.
Now in his fourth season with the Grizzlies, the 23-year-old, two-time All-Star, is the father of a young daughter. Jenkins described Morant as “a generally amazing person, a great family person, a father, a brother, a son, a member of our community.”
“My hope is that it gets better,” Jenkins said. “He knows he has a lot of love and support.”
Report from The Associated Press.
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