It’s a few seconds that can harm a career. On the night of Friday to Saturday, a few hours after the defeat of his Memphis team, in the shock of the Western conference against Denver (97-113), Ja Morant, new star of the NBA (27.1 points and 8 ,2 average assists this season), appeared in a shirtless Instagram live, briefly holding a gun in his left hand, before knocking it off the field.
After this episode, the double All-Star is now under investigation by the NBA. His Memphis franchise, second in the West, has announced its sidelining for at least two games. He did not play the lost meeting with the Clippers on Sunday and will therefore be absent from Tuesday’s meeting against the Lakers. His absence could be prolonged, according to his coach Taylor Jenkins who said there was no set date for Morant’s return to the team.
“The goal is for Ja to take responsibility and get the help he needs to feel better, in general, but also to be able to perform as a member of this team. That’s what we’re talking about. We will support him, but we will also hold him to account,” he said on Sunday.
Morant wants to “take some time”
At the same time, the police in Glendale (Colorado) also announced that they had opened an investigation. True, carrying a firearm is not prohibited in Colorado, but it is illegal to be in possession of a weapon under the influence of alcohol.
“The Glendale Police Department is aware of the incident, footage of which is circulating the internet, involving an NBA player at a nightclub with what appears to be a gun in the early morning hours of 4 March 2023. We are investigating this matter,” Captain Jamie Dillon confirmed.
The sporting and legal consequences of this case remain to be seen. The 23-year-old has since suspended his Instagram and Twitter accounts and apologized, saying he “takes full responsibility for (his) actions”. Ja Morant also announced that she wanted to “take some time to get help and work on better methods to manage (her) stress and (her) general well-being”.