Ja Morant will be serving 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 brought down on him for his second incident brandishing a firearm, this time coming 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 Morant is going to dominate when he’s allowed back with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Derrick Rose signing with the team is a big reason why.
“Watch what type of season Ja has next year with D rose connected to his hip all year long. Once he gets off suspension he will have his best season yet. That D rose presence going to have him on some MVP s—…Watch!”
Morant responded to Thomas, saying, “you too loud OG. they gon feel me fasho.”
An hour after sending out that tweet, Morant had another to add that seemed in reference to what he’s going through right now.
“you know life ain’t tied with a bow but it’s still a gift tho..yeah life ain’t fair but it’s still good tho, it’s a blessing just to be here..,” Morant tweeted.
Morant is also tapped in to the NBA Summer League, where the Grizzlies were taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Las Vegas. He said, “our young bulls > yours” with a bunch of bear emojis that are likely to signify the Grizzlies.
The league suspended Morant 25 games following the NBA Finals, though commissioner Adam Silver did say that the league was waiting until the Finals were over as to not cause a distraction to the two teams that fought their way to get there.
“Ja Morant’s decision to once again wield a firearm on social media is alarming and disconcerting given his similar conduct in March for which he was already suspended eight games,” Silver said in a statement.
“The potential for other young people to emulate Ja’s conduct is particularly concerning. Under these circumstances, we believe a suspension of 25 games is appropriate and makes clear that engaging in reckless and irresponsible behavior with guns will not be tolerated.
“For Ja, basketball needs to take a back seat at this time. Prior to his return to play, he will be required to formulate and fulfill 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 also showing a firearm while at a Denver nightclub. He was intoxicated in that incident.
As Morant will be without pay for the first 25 games, he will be 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 will be a factor in getting Morant back on track in the public eye.
When he’s on the court, he’s the dynamic two-way player the Grizzlies drafted him second overall to be, but his off-the-court incidents are troubling considering he’s set to start a five-year, $197.23 million contract next year.