NBA Playoffs 2023 have been no laughing matter. Especially for the Memphis grizzlies. Six foot two point guard, Ja Morant is no foreigner to headlines. Not just for his unmatchable talent. Constantly switching back and forth between eligibility, Morant has been accused and found guilty of many misdemeanors.
Most recently, by recently I mean three days ago, Morant was caught on an instagram live clearly intoxicated flashing a gun at a club in Denver Colorado. This is not the first time he has flashed a gun.
A few months ago, Morant was spotted doing the same thing in his live, jeopardizing his career. After the first incident he said, “This is a journey and I recognize there is more work to do. My words may not mean much right now, but I take full accountability for my actions. I’m committed to continuing to work on myself.” He still has a long way to go, but these incidents are derailing his progress.
On top of this incident, Ja Morant has been accused of punching a seventeen year old in a pick up basketball game last summer. Witnesses reported seeing Morant flash a gun on his waist at the scene. Furthermore, security at a Memphis mall reported Morant threatening and shoving the same person although no arrests were made. This behavior is unlike anyone in the NBA has ever displayed before.
Morant is still relatively new to the NBA, being drafted in 2019. Since then, Morant has averaged 26.2 points per game, 42.5 field goal percentage, 41.8 three point percentage and 4.0 free throws made in the 2023 playoffs alone. On the defensive end, Morant averages 1.8 steals, 5.2 defensive rebounds and 7 assists. In summary, he’s a pretty solid player on the court. He has been a crucial point guard for the Grizzlies since being drafted.
A lot goes on in the NBA world but what do the Thomas Edison ballers think? I interviewed two of Edison’s finest varsity basketball players, Jahsiah Brown(Guard) and Ahmed Ibrahim(Forward/Center), to gain some insight on what the student body thinks about Ja Morant.
Five star Ahemd Ibrahim is an avid Phoenix Suns fan. He takes a liking to Kevin Durant, “He’s Pro” said Ibrahim. When asked about Ja, he said, “Yes I have heard of Ja Morant. My general thoughts about him is, he’s tough. He’s good.” When asked if he could beat Ja Morant in a basketball game, Ahmed doesn’t think he’s fit for the challenge, “No, not even close.” Now that’s a game I would pay good money to see.
In light of the NBA finals kicking off June 1st, Number zero on the inventors, Jahsiah Brown finds number fifteen on the nuggets, “My favorite basketball team is the Denver Nuggets. My favorite player is Nikola Jokic (…) he’s different,” said Brown.
We all know Morant poses as a solid player on the court, what happens off of the court is what we’re worried about. Both Jahsiah and Ahmed agree that they do not find Morant threatening in any way.
Representing the student body here at Edison, they see him solely as the stand-up player he is. “ I don’t find him scary or threatening in any way. He’s a good player,” said Jahsiah Brown. They both agree, there would be no Grizzlies without Morant “Yes, they are nothing without him” declares Ahmed Ibrahim. Nothing better than the teenage perspective.
There you have it folks. Many would agree, basketball is not like how it used to be. Officials let certain things fly that would’ve resulted in serious consequences in the 90’s. Ja Morant, when he gets out of suspension, will continue to be a crucial player for the Grizzlies. He got a little glimpse of victory entering the playoffs this year. Unfortunately, the Lakers took that glimpse away. That is the game of basketball. Hopefully Morant turns a new leaf next year, Until then, Nuggets or Heat?
“Ja Morant | Memphis Grizzlies.” Www.nba.com, www.nba.com/stats/player/1629630.
Selbe, Nick. “Report: Grizzlies Star Ja Morant Accused of Punching 17-Year-Old in Head.” Sports Illustrated, www.si.com/nba/2023/03/01/grizzlies-ja-morant-accused-punching-teenager.
Morik, Ryan. “Strippers from Site of Ja Morant’s First Viral Gun Incident Say NBA Star Is “Clearly Begging for Attention.”” Fox News, 20 May 2023, www.foxnews.com/sports/strippers-site-ja-morants-first-viral-gun-incident-say-nba-star-clearly-begging-attention. Accessed 3 June 2023.
Sottile, Wayne Sterling,Zoe. “Ja Morant Suspended from Team Activities after Second Video Circulates Showing Him Flash a Gun.” CNN, 14 May 2023, www.cnn.com/2023/05/14/sport/ja-morant-gun-instagram-live-spt/index.html