On March 4th, Ja Morant, the all-star point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies, was seen on Instagram Live flashing a handgun at a nightclub.
Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, responded to the situation on the more lenient side of things. Silver decided to suspend Morant without pay for eight NBA regular season games and put Morant into a counseling program.
In an interview with former NBA player Jalen Rose for ESPN, Morant explained that the counseling program taught him that he “could open up and express his feelings” as opposed to resorting to flashing firearms. In this interview, Morant further explained why he was flashing the gun and apologized to the people around him for the situation.
“I felt like I was releasing stress and that it was healthy for me, which it wasn’t. This caused me to do some things I shouldn’t have” Morant said. “I sent my apologies to everybody, the league, myself, my teammates, my family.”
Morant’s apology and explanation of his behavior led fans and people around the NBA to believe that he had understood why his actions were wrong and had learned from his mistake.
This was until May 14th, when Morant on Instagram Live with his friend, Davonte Pack, was seen flashing another firearm.
Silver immediately came out and discussed his concern with the situation. Silver explained how shocked he was after Morant had shown remorse and had taken their conversations seriously and responded well. Silver felt blindsided and as a result, many fans speculate that Morant is likely to receive a lengthy suspension for a second offense.
“Honestly I was shocked when I saw that video,” Silver said. “I’m assuming the worst.”
Morant has since put out a statement regarding the situation. He mentioned the incident as something that was a detriment to those around him and he took accountability for his actions.
“I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people who have supported me. This is a journey and 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 tweeted.
With Morant seemingly ignoring the conversations and rehab he underwent after his first incident, many fans speculate that the NBA will have serious consequences for the young star.