Ja Morant spoke with NBA commissioner Adam Silver in New York on Wednesday and then clashed with the Memphis Grizzlies The star spoke to ESPN’s Jalen Rose For my first interview in two weeks.
first time since morant stupidly flashed that gun from a denver area strip club on instagram live, since leaving the grizzlies In getting his life in order, Morant finally got some clarity on the mess he had made for himself.
What did he learn from this temporary exile? What did we learn from his opening comments about the situation? Here are some takeaways:
Ja Morant’s tone was better than ever
Remember how defiant Morant was before, How was he convinced that he and his friends were being unfairly targeted? It was gone from his voice. Mostly, at least.
there was still some residue in their answers about various incidents reported which never resulted in any criminal charges.
“Most of the events you’ve seen lately are lies.” he told ESPN, “I can’t speak too much on those situations because that’s all sealed up. I really can’t wait to be able to tell the truth. But what I can say is, as I said before, none of Not my character. I am a big family man. I always care for my family. So it was just me checking my family’s safety. Once my family was safe, I left the scene “
Perhaps there should be a proof of sorts, but that might be counterproductive to the larger mission here. The damage is done, and it’s time for Morant to move on. So it was refreshing that he repeatedly repented and was aware of the work ahead to repair his reputation.
He said, “I take full responsibility for my actions. I made a big mistake.” “I can see the image I’ve painted of myself from my recent mistakes. But in the future, I’m going to show everyone who Ja really is, what I am and change the narrative that everyone Found.”
He returned:Ja Morant reactivates Twitter and Instagram accounts after 11-day hiatus
From last month:It’s Time For Ja Morant And The Memphis Grizzlies To Grow Up
From March 4:Ja Morant acted like a tantrum. The Memphis Grizzlies Couldn’t Unsee It Anymore
The Grizzlies And Morant Were Really Looking Forward To The NBA
Maybe it’s never been announced before an eight game suspension Morant was as much expected to officially receive from the NBA without pay for conduct detrimental to the league. This actually started the timetable for Morant’s return to the court. He will be allowed back with the team on Monday, with his first game likely next weekend.
“We understand what happened through the investigation, we are only focused now that we know the plan,” Coach Taylor Jenkins said before Grizzlies lost to Miami on WednesdayAnd it certainly seemed different from the open-ended, vague answers she’d been forced to give before.
As much as the Grizzlies would like to see Morant address his issues, it is now clear that everyone involved also needs to see what the NBA did.
While Silver declared Morant’s behavior “irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous”, the league’s investigation concluded that the gun in Morant’s video was not his, was not brought to the club, and was on the team plane. He didn’t have or in an NBA facility.
Given the circumstances, the punishment seems appropriate. It’s especially significant that the NBA called it out, not the Grizzlies. There is always a delicate dance between a franchise and its star given the dynamics of NBA free agency and trade demands, and Memphis should not have been put in the position of suspending Morant when it could potentially create unnecessary friction. Could have done. Morant still needed some sort of accountability. Silver had to be there to do the heavy lifting.
This crisis probably could have been avoided, but both the NBA and the Grizzlies have handled it well once the crisis became apparent.
Morant Must Prove He Wasn’t Just Saying What We Want To Hear
Everyone in Memphis wants to believe in Morant. Everyone in Memphis is insisting that he learned his lesson, that breaking away from basketball provided the perspective needed to avoid something like this from happening again.
But the timing of Tuesday’s interview, announced just after his suspension and leaked he was receiving counseling in floridaRose with a former NBA player Joe Bus Comparing Morant to his younger self went viralMorant’s image was a deliberate ploy aimed at starting the rehabilitation process.
Whether it was even a genuine expression of remorse won’t be certain until we see Morant put his words into action upon his return to the Grizzlies.
Morant said many things that needed to be said. He talked about finding new ways to deal with stress and anxiety and “becoming a better Jaw”. He also seemed more than aware of how the people around him should change as well.
“I think in the past we didn’t know what was at stake. And now I finally have time to feel everything, let alone that time, I realize it now,” Morant said. “I realize what I have to lose, and for us as a group, what we have to lose.”
It all sounds good. Now let’s see if that mindset persists.
This should reinvigorate the Grizzlies’ playoff push
Although Morant is not playing basketball while away from the team, there is a flip side to his absence. He should be well rested for the stretch run, with enough time to get back on track before the playoffs Memphis ends it with Sacramento 2 seed in the Western Conference.
The scene at FedExForum whenever Morant plays again — perhaps a week from next Wednesday or Friday against Houston — should be eerie, and a reminder he’s part of a forgiving community in Memphis ready to embrace him again. If Morant indeed successfully deals with his off-court issues, this whole ordeal could turn out to be a positive for the Grizzlies.
Imagine what he could do without the distractions that caused this ordeal.
You can reach Commercial Appeal columnist Mark Giannotto via email at mgia[email protected] and follow him on Twitter: @mgiannotto
This article originally appeared on the Memphis Commercial Appeal: Ja Morant breaks silence with ESPN. What did he learn from the gun video?