Memphis Grizzlies All-Star guard Ja Morant — who was suspended for eight games during the 2022-23 season for flashing a gun in an Instagram Live — was once again seen brandishing a firearm in another social media video over the weekend.
Appearing on Inside The NBA on Wednesday night ahead of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Kenny “The Jet” Smith rejected the notion that Morant’s friends are to blame and that Morant is the issue now that he’s a repeat offender.
“The NBA has a morality clause in everybody’s contract… that expresses about violence, racism, all types of different things that could be considered morality. Flashing guns will be part of that, and when Adam Silver brings you in the office and says, ‘We’re going to suspend you eight games, and this is part of the morality clause.’ And then you do it again. There’s something wrong with you,” Smith said.
“I hear a lot, ‘Oh, he’s got to get new friends.’ At this point, it’s not your friends, it’s you.”
The comments made by Charles Barkley during the segment were also headline-grabbing, as he appeared to call out ESPN’s JJ Redick for his impassioned defense of Morant.
On Tuesday, during Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, Morant released the following statement:
“I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people who have supported me. This is a journey & 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,” Morant’s statement says.
At this time, the NBA is conducting an investigation into the incident, which left NBA Commissioner Adam Silver “shocked”. While nothing has been made official, NBA insiders seem to think that Morant’s second suspension could be in the neighborhood of 20 games, which would represent about a quarter of the upcoming season.