AP Photo/Brandon Dill

Woj: Ja Morant Could Face 'Lengthy' Suspension for Alleged Gun During IG Live Video

Timothy Rapp

Ja Morant appeared to be brandishing a handgun in an Instagram Live video on Saturday after being suspended eight games during the regular season for appearing in a video inside of a Denver nightclub with a gun in his possession.

And ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said on Sunday's NBA Countdown that a significant suspension could be coming for Morant next season following this second incident:

"Ja Morant is facing the very real possibility of a suspension, a lengthy suspension, to start next season after this latest incident when he had an apparent fire arm in his possession. This is twice in two months now. ... I sense already today that Adam Silver's going to feel increasing pressure from other teams in the league who see this as much as it impacts the Grizzlies, that it impacts them and their ability to market their players and their teams. There was a sense, with that eight-game suspension during last season that Silver showed some restraint in that edict with Morant, took him at his word that he would make better decisions."

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated later reported that rival executives think a suspension of "half a season—or more—isn't out of the question."

NBA spokesperson Mike Bass previously said in a statement that the league was "aware of the social media post involving Ja Morant and are in the process of gathering more information."

The Grizzlies, meanwhile, announced that the team has suspended Morant indefinitely from team activities.

The 23-year-old was again excellent in the 2022-23 season, averaging 26.2 points and 8.1 assists per game. He was selected for his second straight All-Star Game, though he missed out on All-NBA honors.

After video from the Denver nightclub surfaced in March, Morant left the team and went through a counseling program before the NBA suspended him for eight games.

He expressed remorse at the time, telling ESPN he had to be "more responsible, more smarter and staying away from all the bad decisions."

"I've just got to be better with my decision-making," he added in April. "That's pretty much it. Off-the-court issues affected us as an organization pretty much. Just [need] more discipline."

Morant also met with Adam Silver in March, and the NBA commissioner spoke about that meeting and his expectations for Morant going forward later that month:

"What I think we both understood is that what's going to be most important is what happens going forward and how successful he'll be in modifying his behavior. Again, I have every sense that he took the meeting with me and the discipline enormously seriously. Even putting aside anything that I did, or within the power of the league, at least my sense is that it was one of those moments in his life where he realized things could have been so much worse, putting aside, again, any punitive actions from the league. That when the mixture of alcohol and guns is so terrible that something truly horrific could have happened to him or someone else and even still there's some person out there who could copy something he did.

"My sense was he felt the full gravity of that, but I think where we both ended was 'Good luck to you, and the most important measure will be how you, again, choose to live your life going forward.' Not to say I didn't believe and feel that everything he was saying to me was genuine, but the measure is going to be how he lives his life going forward."

Those comments suggest that Morant could indeed be facing a very significant punishment given the repeat nature of these incidents, which happened within a relatively short period of time.


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