Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins has repeatedly stated that the team’s current talks with Jae Morant are “internal discussions”, and it appears to have been the case even before Morant left the team.
Before Thursday’s game against the Golden State Warriors, Jenkins explained that the team’s decision to give Morant time was the next step after previous attempts to avoid incidents like Saturday morning, when Morant was allegedly brandishing a gun In a nightclub in Colorado on Instagram Live from his personal account.
“We’ve had conversations in the past to guide him and help him grow as a person and as a player,” Jenkins said. “Obviously it came out the other day. It set the process in motion.”
The Grizzlies initially announced that Morant would be away from the team for at least two games. After the star point guard missed two games, the team made another statement that Morant will be out for at least the next four matches.
Jenkins said, “Hopefully this never happened, and everything was as good as it should be, but there have been conversations about what needs to be done better and this one just came to mind.”
Memphis (38-26) is losing three games in a row. While Tyus Jones has filled in admirably as the starting point guard, the team is 4-7 when he starts this season.
The Grizzlies will need Morant to reach their goals, but the team has made it clear that his personal well-being is the most important issue. Jenkins noted that the Grizzlies have given Morant “steps to take” personally and professionally.
“Obviously there are expectations from the team, he’s going to have a few things he needs to clear up to know what the expectations are when he comes back,” Jenkins said.
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This article originally appeared on the Memphis Commercial Appeal: Memphis Grizzlies tried to guide Ja Morant before gun incident