As the Memphis Grizzlies enter the pivotal home stretch of the 2022-23 NBA regular season, they do so without the availability of their best player.
Superstar guard Ja Morant isn’t injured, however, but rather suspended from the team.
The Grizzlies announced Morant’s suspension following a slew of off-court issues this year, the most recent of which was waving a gun while filming a video for Instagram.
Since news of suspension, former sports stars such as Plaxico Burress, Shannon Sharpe and Jalen Rose have all spoken out on the matter.
Morant was initially set to miss to just two games. But now it appears that timeline may have shifted. Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins recently told media members that Morant’s time away from the team was indefinite.
He clarified those comments even further on Tuesday night after the Grizzlies’ 112-103 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins on Ja Morant return: “It’s a healing process. If everyone expects something to change overnight, we’ve got to be due diligence and respectful on that. We’re talking about Ja being in a better place… To put a timetable on it is disrespectful.” pic.twitter.com/0ogbtmDp6b
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) March 8, 2023
“I said yesterday it’s a healing process,” Jenkins told reporters. “So if everyone expects something to change overnight, we’ve gotta be, you know, due diligence and respectful of that.
“We’re talking about Ja being in a better place personally and also professionally. To put a timetable on it, I think is disrespectful in my opinion. We want to make sure he’s in a great place for himself but also as a responsible teammate here.” – via Yahoo Sports
Jenkins’ comments piggyback on a report from Shams Charania on Tuesday. Charania, of the The Athletic, stated that “the Grizzlies held a players-only meeting to discuss off-the-court road discipline with Steven Adams leading the charge.”
That meeting reportedly precluded Morant’s gun incident.
Memphis entered the season as one of the favorites to potentially claim an NBA Championship. But injuries and off-court issues have slowed that chase. The Grizzlies currently sit at 38-26 and third-place in the Western Conference. Though a barren run without Morant could see them slide down the standing prior to the beginning of the playoffs.