The Memphis Grizzlies organization has announced that Ja Morant, one of the team’s brightest young stars, will sit out for at least two games in response to a controversy surrounding an Instagram live video. In the video, which has since been removed, Morant was seen holding what appeared to be a gun aloft in his left hand while rapping along to music in a nightclub. There is no indication that Morant threatened anyone with the weapon or that anyone was in danger during the course of the video.
Morant, who is only 23 years old, has been selected to his second All-Star game this year and was named to the all-NBA second team last year. He is currently averaging 27.1 points per game, ninth in the league, and 8.2 assists per game, fifth in the league. He was drafted second overall by the Grizzlies in 2019 and has become one of the league’s top point guards.
In response to the controversy, Morant issued a statement apologizing to his family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis, and the entire organization for letting them down. He also said that he would take some time away from the team to seek help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and his overall well-being.
“I’m sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis and the entire organization for letting you down. I’m going to take some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being” Morant said in statement.
The Grizzlies organization also released a statement indicating that Morant would be away from the team for at least two games in response to the controversy. It is not clear whether Morant will face any further disciplinary action beyond these two games.